Smokin’ Joe Frazier

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Joe Frazier hits Muhammad Ali with a left during the 15th round of their heavyweight title fight at New York's Madison Square garden in this March 8, 1971 photo. (AP Photo/stf)

Joe Frazier hits Muhammad Ali with a left during the 15th round of their heavyweight title fight at New York's Madison Square garden in this March 8, 1971 photo. (AP Photo/stf)

Ask most Philadelphians about the city’s boxing history and they’ll likely name the fictional Rocky Balboa. But real life legendary heavy weight champ – “Smokin’” Joe Frazier – called Philly home. Frazier was known for his withering left hook and hunched bobbing body in the ring but he has often been overshadowed by the movie icon and by the charismatic Muhammed Ali, who he had an epic three bout rivalry with, starting with the 1971 in the “Fight of the Century” and ending in 1975 with “The Thrilla in Manila.” In the new book, Smokin’ Joe, sports writer MARK KRAM, Jr., reexamines Frazier’s life and career, starting with his difficult childhood in rural South Carolina, work in the slaughterhouses of Philadelphia, his early Olympic gold, his heavy weight fight and titles, and his feud with Ali. Kram joins us to talk about the overlooked boxing giant along with WEATTA FRAZIER COLLINS, one of Joe Frazier’s daughters.

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