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Requiem for a Heavyweight

Smokin’ Joe Frazier, a great heavyweight champion, died yesterday. He was 67.

Thinking about Frazier this morning I wished there was some way to remember him without bringing Ali into the conversation. As a final tribute to Frazier. But I don’t think it can be done. Still, let’s turn to Rick Hoffer, for clarity.

And while we are at SI, go directly to this piece by Mark Kram, and another fine profile by Bill Nack.


1 rbj   ~  Nov 8, 2011 9:47 am

Great boxer. Ah, for the day when there were heavyweights worth watching. And for free on network tv.

2 Dimelo   ~  Nov 8, 2011 10:36 am

[0] It's hard not to talk about Frazier w/o mentioning Ali. Can we talk about Duran w/o ever mentioning Leonard? Some fighters/athletes are forever linked throughout history, but I know what you mean.

I did love Mushnick's piece in the NY Post about Frazier. I do think Ali was a big bully and wasn't that nice a guy.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 8, 2011 10:52 am

2) Ali was many things. He was vilified during his career and now there has been a revisionist history that has gone the other way. He could be a bully and he was vicious, that's true. Mark Kram's book "Ghosts of Manila" is particularly critical of Ali.

The funny thing is that we can talk about Sugar Ray without Duran and Ali without Frazier. Those guys are major characters in their lives, of course, but it's not the same. Weird how that works.

4 Matt Blankman   ~  Nov 8, 2011 11:29 am

[3] To say "Ali was complex" is like saying "Sinatra was a singer."

5 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 8, 2011 11:50 am

4) Absolutely.

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