kindle Smokin' Joe: The Life of Joe FrazierAutor Mark Kram Jr. –

A gripping, all access biography of Joe Frazier, whose rivalry with Muhammad Ali riveted boxing fans and whose legacy as a figure in American sports and society enduresHistory will remember the rivalry of Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali as one for the ages, a trilogy of extraordinary fights that transcended the world of sports and crossed into a sociocultural drama that divided the country.Joe Frazier was a muchcomplex figure than just his rivalry with Ali would suggest In this riveting and nuanced portrayal, acclaimed sports writer Mark Kram, Jr unlinks Frazier from Ali and for the first time gives a full bodied accounting of Fraziers life, a journey that began as the youngest of thirteen children packed in small farm house, encountering the bigotry and oppression of the Jim Crow South, and continued with his voyage north at age fifteen to develop as a fighter in Philadelphia Tracing Fraziers life through his momentous bouts with the likes of Ali and George Foreman and the developing perception of him as the anti Ali in the eyes of blue collar America, Kram follows the boxer through his retirement in 1981, exploring his relationship with his son, the would be heavyweight Marvis, and his fragmented home life as well as the uneasy place that Ali continued to occupy in his thoughts A propulsive and richly textured narrative that is also a powerful story about race and class in America, Smokin Joe is unparalleled in its scope, depth, and access and promises to be the definitive biography of a towering American figure whose life was galvanized by conflict and whose mark has proven lasting

5 thoughts on “Smokin' Joe: The Life of Joe Frazier

  1. Barry Sparks Barry Sparks says:

    Joe Frazier s three fights with Muhammad Ali are legendary Although Ali won 2 of the 3 fights, Frazier gave Ali all he could handle The fights are known for their brutality.Author Mark Kram, Jr., writes that Frazier, a great boxer in his own right, is an underappreciated athlete Part of Ali s greatness stems from Frazier s greatness and tenacity Frazier, often demeaned by Ali, finishes a distant second to The Greatest when it comes to respect and attention.Kram says Frazier climbed out of the cradle of poverty in South Carolina to become heavyweight champ Kram covers Frazier s childhood, as well as the principles he learned, and his early fights in the book s first 175 pages.But, it s Frazier s three matches with Ali that most readers are most eager to read about While it s well known history, fans of Frazier and or Ali can t seem to get enough details or insights into the matches.The Fight of the Century occurred March 8, 1971, before 30 million closed circuit television viewers, the largest television audience in history Frazier won an unanimous decision.The non title rematch came on June 28, 1974, with Ali scoring a victory The Thrilla in Manila grabbed the nation s attention on Oct 1, 1975 Ali received 4.5 and Frazier 2 million for the fight Ali won in the 14th round when Frazier s trainer Eddie Futch stopped the fight Frazier s vision in his left eye was deteriorating because of trauma to the eye Frazier felt he was denied a chance to win by Futch s decision Other observers felt that Futch may have saved Frazier s life by stopping the match.Frazier retired after losing to George Foreman, but he briefly returned 5 years later at age 37 By this time, he was too old, too heavy and too slow Kram takes advantage of talking to many of Frazier s family members, childhood friends, children and those who knew him He also spends a lot of time showing how Frazier s childhood influenced his life and career Kram sheds light on Frazier s personal life 11 children by 6 women and his showbiz career singing with his band The Knockouts.Joe Frazier deserves recognition and appreciation and Kram s biography aids the cause.

  2. Andy White Andy White says:

    A bio that covers both his ups and down Couldn t put it down A good man and a complicated one also Between Mark and his dad they pretty much have the Frazier Ali era covered Apple didn t fall far from the tree Good job

  3. T. H. Jory T. H. Jory says:

    If you were growing up or older during the 1960s and 70s, you knew Joe Frazier even if you did not follow boxing He was a cultural as well as a sports hero nearly on a par with Muhammad Ali, and their three epic heavyweight fights, the first of which was won by Frazier, could not escape a nation s and world s awareness Mark Kram Jr., whose father covered Ali and his bouts for Sports Illustrated, brings Frazier to life in this magnificent biography that captures the rural South Carolina born Frazier both as determined athlete and a genuine human being Kram uses dozens of interviews with those who knew and worked with and fought Frazier, as well as family members, and mines contemporary accounts of his life in and out of the ring It is all done with great skill and sensitivity The last quarter or so of the book which takes up Frazier the man after his retirement from the ring is unexpected treasure.

  4. Marivaux Marivaux says:

    I heard Mr Kram, Jr discuss his book on an ESPN podcast, and it motivated me to purchase the biography This book is significant because the author was able to do first hand interviews with important individuals in Frazier s life which adds a needed, nuanced context to the events in Joe s life I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and appreciated the effort that went into giving us a well rounded view of Frazier The book also provides a better understanding of how the political and cultural moments shaped him, and how Joe managed his personal and professional life within the complicated era that he lived.

  5. gp gp says:

    With the exception of a handful of errors i.e referring to Jumbo Cummings as obese Smokin Joe is a thoroughly enjoyable effort In fact, Joe Frazier had such a full life I m sure author Mark Kram Jr could have filled twice as many pages It would have been nice if Kram Jr would have shared details on Frazier s stalled efforts at a comeback in 1978 due to hepatitis and again in 1980 against Cummings or provided info on Frazier s many children and lovers a template Evander Holyfield seems to have followed as well So maybe some day we ll see a Volume Two As it stands, Smokin Joe is a fine bookend to Mark Kram Sr s excellent Blood Feud Ghosts of Manila and also a fine cross reference tool to Frazier s own autobiography An enjoyable read for fight fans or anyone who likes well written sports literature