View Full Version : Frazier goes to war part 1


Toney616
05-30-2011, 07:26 AM
"God, let me survive this night. God protect my family. God grant me strength. And God...allow me to kick the **** out of this motha****er!."
-Joe Frazier








1971
http://members.cox.net/chuxwords/aliface.gif



On March 8, 1971, according to Muhammad Ali, the planet would stumble in its axis, billions would hold their breaths, including every last ice-covered Sherpa and sand-swept Bedouin, and ecumenical constituency that he claimed as his, and his alone, in contrast to Joe Frazier, "a little old ****** boy who ain't been anywhere 'cept Philly, never done anything for nobody 'cept rich people that back him and politician crooks, never had a thought in his dumb head 'cept for himself."
Frazier was up North, yet his shadow rolled heavily over the sun streaked walls of the Fifth Street Gym in Miami. Celebrities like Sammy Davis and Elvis Presley, to the sound of whirring cameras, moved in and out of his glow as if seeking reaffirmation of their own rank. "You cool brother?" Elvis asked, embracing him. "Cool as you." Ali smiled. "And gettin' cooler."


Frazier Goes to war
How Frazier "lost" the fight of the century
http://www.celebritiesfans.com/Pic/joefrazier.jpg

"Anybody black who thinks Frazier can whup me is an uncle tom," said Ali at the time. "Everybody who's black wants me to keep on winning."

"The only people rooting for Joe Frazier," he remembers Ali saying ," are white people in suits, Alabama sheriffs, and members of the Klu Klux Klan."

"Frazier is too dark and too black"
-Muhammad Ali

"For the light skinned Ali and his fans, Joe Frazier was both too black and not black enough"
-Jack Cashill

"Joe's such a decent guy," veteran trainer Futch said of Frazier before the fight, "but when he beats Ali, Joe is going to be to go down as one of the most unpopular black champions of all time."

"Joe Frazier became the symbol of our oppressors."
-Bryant Gumbel

The war of words

Ali had launched into the war of words. He was relentless and brutal. In a divided nation, Ali had assigned an unlikely role to Frazier, that o a traitor to his race and titular leader of the forces of reaction. With his greater rhetorical kills and his access to an increasingly friendly broadcast media, Ali painted Frazier into a corner. "Anybody black who thinks Frazier can whup me is an uncle tom," said Ali at the time. "Everybody who's black wants me to keep on winning."


The black media piled on. Jet magazine described Frazier a an "unheralded white-created champion." Even more telling was the slight delivered by future today show host Bryant Gumbel, then writing for Black Sport. Gumbel asked in his headline, "Is Joe Frazier a white champion in black skin?"


Moved to the anger by the media and Ali, the hardcore faithful threatened Frazier and his family by mail and phone. The police put a watch on Frazier, his wife, and his children. History had proven that Ali's Muslim colleges were capable of killing.


Even in Philadelphia, the black community turned against the imagined race traitor, Frazier. Schoolmates teased his son, Marvis, that his father was an Uncle Tom. Young blacks bought the whole hog, not knowing or caring that the Muslims had him in a choke collar and a leash, taking no notice that he had, with great arrogance, betrayed another hero of great appeal, Malcolm X. Black magazines, confused about whether they were MLK passives or Stokley Carmichaels troopers, slew Frazier's blackness at every turn


"I grew up like the black man-he didn't", Frazier wold tell Sports Illustrated William Nack. "I cooked the liquor. I cut the wood. I worked the farm. I lived in the Ghetto. Yes, I tommed; when he asked me to help him get a license, I tommed for him. For him!" The irony stung. "He had a white man in the corner and those rich plantation people to fund him," Frazier writes bitterly of Ali. "A white lawyer kept him out of jail .An he's going to Uncle Tom me?"


Ali and his supporters abused the people who pulled for Joe Frazier even more than they abused Frazier himself. Fight manager and former sorts editor Dave Wolf watched Ali on TV one night with Frazier. "The only people rooting for Joe Frazier," he remembers Ali saying ," are white people in suits, Alabama sheriffs, and members of the Klu Klux Klan." Enraged, Frazier smashed his fist mutely into his hand as he watched. Says Wolf, "It was cruel. That's all."
Wolfs memory on this core is accurate. The image of Frazier fans has not appreciated much over time. "The people who wanted [Frazier] to beat Ali,"writes Marquese in 1999, "were the die-hard racists, the love-it-or-leave-it brigade, the people who resented everything that Ali stood for." A more reflective Bryant Gumbel would tell Hauser twenty years later, "Joe Frazier became the symbol of our oppressors."


Uncle Tom
http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/board/attachments/tbcb-photos/93657d1184527307-corner-men-durham_yancy.jpg

"It's a damn shame what Clay's doin' to my boy,"
-Yank Durham

The Uncle Tom epithet tripped so incessantly from Ali's lips and now from the crowd around the gym, that Joe might as well have been wearing a sign. His son, Marvis had to defend himself and his father at school. The phone calls came day and night, some calling him a tommin' dog, others vowing that he would never see another day if he beat Ali. The label hadn't stuck with Patterson or Terrel, but it was isolating him to a speck of a man, right in his own town, in his own gym. Frazier had police guarding him around the clock, and it seemed remarkable that he did not teeter into disoientation, that the job stayed fixed in his mind. It got to Durham finally. One day, without warning, the gym almost empty, Yank picked up a water pail and slammed it repeatedly against a ringpost. "It's a damn shame what Clay's doin' to my boy," he said then kicked the smashed pail with full force up over the ropes.

Racial Identity

Young white men, Jews, Italians, Irish, Hispanic, never have to fret much about their racial character. In these times, perhaps always so, young blacks were forced to dwell on the steps to be taken on the wavy line of their existence, of going along or burning down, and this was no time to be neutral. In this regard, where had Frazier failed the test, a young kid run out of town by his mother in fear for his life, while the young Ali, understandably, sucked and slurped the big orange of the Louisville rich and fingered the laurel wreath of the wide recognition from hometown whites? Move back three decades, and Frazier had a ring DNA similar to that of Joe Louis , self effacing, reticent , and worshiped by all blacks . Long after his career , he would ask say on the subject of Ali: "I don't believe in the separation of the races." Where, then, was the justice? "There aint none," Frazier said. "Not for me. It eats at me, but I dont let on and I dont forget. He uses his blackness to kick up stir, get people excited, maybe convince him self of something, then he's gone. He thinks no hurts left behind. What he ever do for people but give them a lot of silly words?"
He added: "He's no martyr. The heroes are them kids with their pieces of body all over Vietnam, a lot of poor blacks. I don't care about his draft thing. His politics. His religion But he aint no leader of anything. He stop the war? How do people buy his ****?

Yank Durham

Well fed lawyers with intricate traps in their attache cases who saw big money in boxing were up ahead and lay in wait; boxing was a double breasted suit. Fighers were properties, managers had become hirelings,
but yank Durham thought of Frazier as his own, so what if Cloverlay had his contract, merely a matter then of insufficient funds. He had been there through his ring infancy, he had his heart and mind, had hacked his way through all the nonbelievers. He had and his trainer Eddie Futch, had gone first class with the fighter, did things the right way, produced a machine as carefully as he used one of his old welding torches. Yank had got his chance, too and proved he was more than just an amateur who specialized in turning street layabouts into prelim boys. He was a cagey old schemer, but not the like most o the pickpockets on their way out; he had a trust and, though soaring in a fantasy present, the future intruded on the edge of consciousness. If Joe won, then, maybe, there was a fight or two left in him. If he lost, he'd have to set him down, close him down, it wouldn't be easy. Fighters like Joe climbed to the top out o breathtaking will, got there inch by inch, leaving mounting pain on each rung. he' have enough money to quit. Yank didnt want him hurt, he qas not a fighter of longevity. He knew Ali was going to be a mean night. Too mean, the kind of fight that might cut Joe to a scrap. and he'd have to shut him down.
his nerves, he said, jumped at the sad prospect.

Toney616
05-30-2011, 07:27 AM
The Fight

When Frazier broke camp five detectives rode shotgun with him to New York, underlining how serious they had taken the many death threats to the fighters life. Joe didn't say much, said one, and he "looked so distant we joked that he was sitting there waiting for us to give him the menu for his last meal."

There were only a handful of people in Frazier's room, Durham, Futch, an assistant, Les Peleman, and a Philly cop bodyguard. Joe was gloved and ready. Durham took him to the far corner of the room, put his hands on his shoulders, looked him straight in the eye and in his signature voice said: "Well, we're here. I want you to know what you've done, boy. There will never be another Joe Frazier. They all laughed. You got us here. There's not another human who ever lived. I'd want to send out there, not even Joe Louis. Win tonight, and the road will be paved with gold.

Joe knelt in the corner of the room and prayed aloud: "God, let me survive this night. God protect my family. God grant me strength. And God...allow me to kick the **** out of this motha****er!."

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/06/12/gal_msg-ali-frazier-71.jpg

The decision was unanimous Frazier raised his hands in victory thanked the Lord, and with a bloody mouth sneered at Ali," I kicked your ass." Referee Arthur Mercante thought it was the most vicious fight he had ever seen. Mark Kram calls it the most skillful. And by all accounts, it was the most dramatic. "I was twenty seven years old, and there would never be another night like it in my life,"
"It was wild," Les Peleman said. "He was still out there in the ring. "Tears ran down his face as he kept walking in frantic circles, shouting:" "I want him over here! I want him to crawl to my feet! Crawl, crawl! He promised, promised me! Crawl to me crawl! Why aren't you here?" Durham embraced him.


A more just world would have celebrated Frazier a the "Cinderella man" of his era:the so twelfth child of a rural Gullah family, who highlighted it out of the South on his own at age fifteen, developed his superior strength hauling carcasses in a slaughterhouse, and prevailed over a more privileged, more popular, more physically gifted opponent through an iron iron display of will not seen before or since.
From the beginning, however, careful observers knew that the story want going to play out like that way. "Joe's such a decent guy," veteran trainer Futch said of Frazier before the fight, "but when he beats Ali, Joe is going to be to go down as one of the most unpopular black champions of all time." Futch was right a s rain.

Next:

A Joe Frazier fan goes to watch the fight
http://www.boxingscene.com/forums/showthread.php?t=484945

Sources:
Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier
- Mark Kram

Sucker Punch: The Hard Left Hook That Dazed Ali and Killed King***8217;s Dream- Jack Cashill

Ivansmamma
05-30-2011, 08:27 AM
Thanks for posting, really interesting to read. Ali is one of my all time favourite fighters and the reason i started to watch boxing but what he did against Frazier was wrong. I saw the Thrilla in manilla documentary that focused on Fraziers point of view. It's sad to see how much all this har really stuck with him for life, how bitter and angry he still is at Ali after forty years but it's understandable.

Toney616
05-30-2011, 08:36 AM
Thanks for posting, really interesting to read.

Your welcome

Ali is one of my all time favourite fighters and the reason i started to watch boxing but what he did against Frazier was wrong. I saw the Thrilla in manilla documentary that focused on Fraziers point of view. It's sad to see how much all this har really stuck with him for life, how bitter and angry he still is at Ali after forty years but it's understandable.
Frazier has really let his hate twist him from the dignified man he used to be to the sometimes angry, hateful man he appears to be from time to time. There was really no excuse for what Ali did. Its was disgusting and disgraceful that he did something like that. I think the main problem Frazier has is that Ali is now seen as a saint and the public seems to completely overlook his "dark" side

La_Vibora
05-30-2011, 03:14 PM
I really wish someone would make a movie about this, in terms of speaking from Joe Frazier's point of view. An Ali-Frazier type of movie where they do it from Fraziers point of view. A movie in the style of "The Fighter" showing everything that Ali put him threw and how Joe would overcome it all to win the fight. I think that would be a great story, but who knows with Hollywood, they haven't even put out another Tyson movie yet despite all efforts to do so. They also never put out that Sonny Liston movie either.

BigStereotype
05-30-2011, 03:38 PM
I really wish someone would make a movie about this, in terms of speaking from Joe Frazier's point of view. An Ali-Frazier type of movie where they do it from Fraziers point of view. A movie in the style of "The Fighter" showing everything that Ali put him threw and how Joe would overcome it all to win the fight. I think that would be a great story, but who knows with Hollywood, they haven't even put out another Tyson movie yet despite all efforts to do so. They also never put out that Sonny Liston movie either.

There was one called "The Phantom Punch" with Ving Rhames (Marcellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction) as Liston. I never saw it, but there is a movie out there.

As for the essay itself, it's a great read. Looking forward to another installment.

La_Vibora
05-30-2011, 04:11 PM
There was one called "The Phantom Punch" with Ving Rhames (Marcellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction) as Liston. I never saw it, but there is a movie out there.

As for the essay itself, it's a great read. Looking forward to another installment.

Wow! I had absolutely no idea this movie was even out there. Thank you for posting this! They were suppose to make the movie sometime around 2001 or so, but it got scrapped instead to do that movie "Undisputed". I will definitely watch when I get a chance, anyone that wants to see it just watch it here:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=ZIL5ESKS&w=631&h=392

The Surgeon
06-01-2011, 09:16 AM
Your welcome

Frazier has really let his hate twist him from the dignified man he used to be to the sometimes angry, hateful man he appears to be from time to time. There was really no excuse for what Ali did. Its was disgusting and disgraceful that he did something like that. I think the main problem Frazier has is that Ali is now seen as a saint and the public seems to completely overlook his "dark" side

No wonder, it annoys the hell out of me! Ali can do no wrong in most eyes these days but he was a cruel guy at times and did some nasty ***** and i feel a bit resentfull how he talks about White people too. Its all masked and over shadowed by his brilliance, wit charisma and charm but he definately had a dark side


Greatr read again btw bud

fitefanSHO
06-01-2011, 09:21 AM
Ali sure knew how to put asses in seats. :spankme:

The Surgeon
06-01-2011, 09:26 AM
Ali sure knew how to put asses in seats. :spankme:

But Joe knew how to put Ali's ass on the canvas!

at least first time around...

La_Vibora
06-01-2011, 11:02 AM
Watch the excellent documentary - The Fighters

I've seen the documentary, I just mean an actual movie would be cool. Not sure who to get to play Joe though.

Ziggy Stardust
06-03-2011, 09:32 AM
A picture's worth a thousand words!
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_RSWXzvT0BME/TKC7F1XvIII/AAAAAAAAAM4/S0_PPLzwE5U/s1600/ali_frazier.jpg

Toney616
06-04-2011, 07:20 AM
[/B]
No wonder, it annoys the hell out of me! Ali can do no wrong in most eyes these days but he was a cruel guy at times and did some nasty ***** and i feel a bit resentful how he talks about White people too. Its all masked and over shadowed by his brilliance, wit charisma and charm but he definitely had a dark side
You would be surprised about the amount of things that guy gets a free pass for.
The Nation of Islam at its most atrocious. This is the group he was a member of and funded:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zebra_murders

Great read again btw bud
Thank you