Boxing legend Joe Frazier moved to Philadelphia in 1958 from rural South Carolina as a 14-year old boy and lived here the rest of his life. Despite being considered the greatest fighter in Philadelphia sports history, he died last year without having ever been honored by his adopted home. In recent months, however, efforts to memorialize Frazier have moved forward. Yesterday the City announced its plans to memorialize Frazier with a statue at the sports complex in South Philadelphia and there is a campaign to designate the North Philadelphia gym where he trained as a national historic site. But mention Frazier’s name here and what immediately comes to mind is not necessarily his connection to the city, but his famed rivalry with boxer Muhammad Ali. Coincidentally, tonight, Ali, who also had roots in Philadelphia (he lived in Cherry Hill, NJ in the early 70’s) will receive the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal in recognition of his “activism for the cause of freedom .” In this hour of Radio Times we’ll look at the life and career of Philadelphia heavyweight champ Joe Frazier, his connections to the City of Brotherly Love, and his storied and sometimes troubled relationship with Muhammad Ali. Joining us in the studio are JOE HAND, longtime friend and business associate of Joe Frazier and Daily News columnist STAN HOCHMAN.
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