View Full Version : Frazier goes to war part 3


Toney616
06-04-2011, 07:03 AM
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"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."

"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 aftermath

Nothing near being so tenebrous in Joe's quarters. He was spending the last adrenaline of the fight that had been a tourniquet for the pain, the last rush still directed at Ali. "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 t 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.


The next day Ali was public again, the X-rays were negative. He wanted his legions to know that he didn't lose, it was a bad decision, and that he had only trained for a six-round fight. He had shown remarkable heart and endurance, now with cameras grinding he was trying to steal the fight back from Joe, issuing some subtle, dippy call for a referendum, and he was succeeding. Privately, he was of another mind: "We been whupped. Maybe I'll get some peace now. We all have to take defeats in life." Joe watched on television at the Pierre, had Ali's comments read to him as he lay in bed. "It's not like I even won," he said. "He's robbin' me. Like nothin' changed!" He struggled to his feet. He tried to lift the TV set, to hurl it across the room. He was too weak. Durham guided him back to bed, saying: "Now, now, Joe. You know he aint got any sense." Nevertheless, Frazier continued to seethe. A commission doctor came by, suggested he be moved to a hospital in the Catskills. "What?" Joe said. "So he can make more headlines, show how he beat me so bad I gotta be put in a hospital?" Joe slipped out of the Pierre, to St Luke's Hospital in Philly. For twenty-hours, Dr James Guffe had him lay in a bed of ice. Joe dreamed a spirit had taken his hand, said he would be okay. "I could feel his touch. He was right there. "They told him the next morning there had been no visitors.

Let him live

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His life hung out there for several days. His blood pressure was in another galaxy, and he had a kidney infection. Day and night, every five minutes, doctors scurried in and out of his room. They thought they would lose him to a stroke. Durham was in London on business, and quickly hustled back. But for a time, only Joe Hand, a cop and stockholder, sat out the nights with him.
"Let him live," Joe said to no one in particular. Joe stayed in a deep sleep, almost a coma. When he awoke, he mumbled over and over:" Don't say a word, Joe. Don't let Ali find out I'm here." At one point, four doctors lingered ominously over his bed. He awoke one time, and said: "All the money I made for people, and you're the only one here, Joe." Hand tried to comfort him, what could he say to a man on the brink? Finally, Joe broke through, like he had through Ali's mechanized jab, and he began to stabilize. One doctor sighed and said: "It was close." Joe stayed in St Luke's for three wekks.
Frazier had no reason to cower, to shrink from what he had done in that fight. He had nearly paid with his life. He had won with the kind of conditioning that, to attain it and keep it at such a keening level, would destroy most men. He had won with a fortitude only surpassed by men in war.

By 1971, Ali held sway over the young people who were quietly seizing the media. Byrant Gumbel was one of them. "It was a terrible terrible night," Gumbel says of that first Ali Frazier fighr. "I'll never forget it as long as I live.

Byrant Gumbel admits that he and his peers felt like 'the chosen ones,' the ones who had the unique skinny on the way the world turned. What he failed to see at the time was just how influential the chosen ones had already become, and how much more influential they would become in the future. As time passed, they would sing of this fight as just one more obstacle on Ali's heroic road back to the title. And as to Joe Frazier, they would remember him, when they bothered, as roadkill along the way.

A bad white mans decision

"Ali accepted the defeat with grace and dignity" - Bert Sugar

"It was a bad white mans decision"- Muhammad Ali

Although instinctively gracious in defeat, Ali soon yielded to the dictates of his Muslim puppeteers and began to spin the sag of his loss in politically useful terms. On the Saturday after the fight, Ali told Howard Cosell on Wide World of Sports that he was the real winner of the fight. "He was declared the loser," Cosell recalls him saying, "only because of his religion and his attitude toward the draft."
Ali repeated this theme during the weeks and months that followed and started calling himself "The peoples champ." His supporters obliged by picking up the theme and merchandising it. Not content to strip Frazier of his authenticity as a black man, the Ali camp now tried to strip him of his authenticity as champion.

Is Joe Frazier a White Champion in Black Skin?"


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

Seven months after the first fight, Bryant Gumbel, the editor of Black sports, grafted on the temper of the day and stripped some more flesh from Frazier. He was a mediocre writer and thinker, excellent qualifications for the large success he would have on television's Today Show with a shallow, hard worked ultra-sophistication, a cool broker of opinion next to Howard Cossels weasly conniving. Gumbel never let a bandwagon pass without jumping on it or trying to blow out its tires, depending on the mood of the day; the ultimate limo liberal. Durham said: "He's got soft written all over him, a country club black." Gumbel said he walked home after the fight with tears in his eyes for Ali; a hired weeping pallbearer for the times and its temporarily stalled hero. Strapping up his backbone, he wrote a piece meant to further Ali's campaign for the victory by proclamation, to blur Frazier's definitive prize: "Is Joe Frazier a White Champion in Black Skin?"

Talking about the other champions. he alludes to Floyd Patterson as the "go-boy" of the whites, blithely sniffs at Joe Louis, and finds that given the times, he can exonerate him as a model rep. He even manages to put some gloss on Sonny Liston, casts him as a "victim of society...hurt and angry...this was the black man of his day." Was Sonny laughing, punching a cloud; not bad, this behavioral reincarnation. But Frazier catches no slack. To Gumbel, he is pro-establishment, the E.Coli bacterium of the sixties. Joe calls Ali by his birth name, Clay. He consorts with an enemy like the South Carolina legislature, where he spoke, saying:"We must save our people, I mean black and white. We need to quit thinking who's living next door, who's driving a big car, who's my little daughter playing with, who is she going to sit next to in school. We don't have time for that." He added that he was hurt that so few blacks had had a chance to speak here in over a century."
That was far too passive for the likes of Gumbel; guilt by association was the gig, and it is doubtful he even saw or read the fairly long, sincere speech. Gumbel then pulls out some questionable associates . Undiscerning when it came to pictures, Frazier posed with Mayor Frank Rizzo, the Comissar of Philly police known for the brutality-and Richard Nixon, the Old Nick of sixties evil. Gumbel would go on to have a privileged life in TV , with an ego and ambition that not even a mother could love, let alone colleagues.

Toney616
06-04-2011, 07:03 AM
Explanations:
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Quarry was not the only white boxer refrained from abusing.. In truth, he spared them all. The deep soul, wounding abuse he reserved for his fellow blacks. "One of the many paradoxes about Ali," affirms historian Randy Roberts, "is that he embraced an ideology that disparaged white people, yet he was never cruel to the white people, only blacks."

Wrote Jimmy Carson: "It seemed right that Cassius Clay had a good time beating up another Negro[Terrell]. This was fun, like chasing them down with dogs and knocking them down with streams of water.

"Why do you pick on black fighters?" he was asked as the jet slogged on to Manilla.

Frazier almost surely represented a part of Ali's own cultural imagination he needed to suppress. "I had always hated being black," Ali once confessed to Jose Torres,"just like the other negroes, hating our kind instead of loving one another." The Muslims appealed to him in no small part because they addresses the issue of self hate. They assumed that by projecting that hate outward, at the devils, they could direct the love within, at themselves, a strategy that has never worked anywhere and certainly not with Ali. Malcolm's daughter Attallah understood the strategy well. The Nation of Islam "knocked things down in order to build," she tells Hauser, "and that's not a process that set right with me."
The romanticized Jack Johnson gave Ali the role model he thought he needed. As portrayed, Johnson was both scary and sophisticated. "I grew up to love the Jack Johnson image," Ali said after the first Jerry Quarry fight. "I wanted to be tough, tough, arrogant, the ****** the white folks didn't like." But the white folks liked him. They loved him because they saw themselves in him. As hard as Ali tried, he did not scare at all. Joyce Carol Oates, among other white Ali fans, believed Ali to be the "black man's black man," but Ali never quite belied it himself

Nor could Ali ever convince himself that Black was really beautiful. It showed in his choice of women. It showed in his treatment of Frazier and, before him, Patterson, Terrell, Bundini, and other black sparring partners and hangers on he routinely humiliated. "He thought [Frazier] was a pure ******," Aaisha Ali [1] recalls. "He says that Frazier didn't know how to talk, or look good, and that it was insulting if he became the heavyweight champ."

One need not to be a shrink to sense that Ali was projecting his own self hate onto Frazier and the others. He was sufficiently light and middle class to almost imagine himself white. Joe Frazier had no such illusions. He always knew who he was. He did not have to imitate anyone to be rough and tough. He has thus always seemed much moire secure in his blackness than Ali.

"See," he says, "you gotta be black to appreciate just how pretty I am. The people all know that. Look at my skin. Look at how nice and bronze it is. Not Frazier. Frazier is real dark, real black. He’s just an ugly ******."-Muhammad Ali


1996

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"God gave me this physical impairment," said a chastened Ali,"to remind me that I am not the greatest. He is"

One can forgive Joe Frazier for not knowing this or caring. As he could plainly see, the media were eager to canonize Ali for all that he was and had ever been, even the "ungrateful scamboogah" who had undermined his career and cheapened his entire existence. With his Christian sense of justice, Frazier expected contrition before canonization, publicly and objectively, but it was not forthcoming.
And so when Ali bent over the cauldron to light the Olympic flame, Joe Frazier rather wished he fall in. The reader of this thread[2] will understand why



"The only people rooting for Joe Frazier," he remembers Ali saying ," are white people in suits, Alamaba sheriffs, and members of the Klu Klux Klan." Enraged, Frazier smashed his fist mutely into his hand as he watched.

For the light skinnned Ali and his fans, Joe Frazier was both too black and not black enough

Always able to feel the lancing invective with which ali assaulted him, Frazier began to see it as an orchestrated campaign to crush any respect he had in the black community.

"unheralded white-created champion."

"Is Joe Frazier a white champion in black skin?"

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."

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 colleagues were capable of killing.

" It eats at me, but I don't let on and I don't forget. He uses his blackness to kick up a stir, get people excited, maybe convince him self of something, then he's gone. He thinks no hurts left behind."-Joe Frazier

"You will never see the light of day if you beat Ali. You tommin' dog"

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"Wheres the justice?"
-Joe Frazier

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’s Dream- Jack Cashill


Notes:

[1] Aaisha Ali was the 17 year old girl that Ali impregnated, she was married to him simultaneously while he was married to Belinda. After he got bored of her he left her to blow in the hard luck winds

[2] The word book was replaced with the word thread

Toney616
06-04-2011, 07:51 AM
Next:

The Ghosts of Manilla
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Joe turned, gunned a hole in the thin wood in the wall, then flipped over his desk. Futch tried to calm him. Joe, rubbing his hand, fianlly said:"Eddie, listen up! Whatever you do, whatever happens, don't stop the fight! we got nowhere to go after this. I'm gonna eat this half-breed's heart right ou of his chest."
"Joe...." Futch said
"I mean it," Joe said. "This is the end of me or him."