Boxing was the greatest sport for my generation, truely the “Main Event”. I had written earlier about Muhammad Ali and how we spent our childhood shadow boxing and staying up late to watch his live boxing matches.
Since the passing of Joe Frazier couple of days ago I’ve been reading about him and how my American generation counterparts viewed boxing and those times and apparently we all felt the same. I saw a Sportcaster remember him in three words, Courage, Determination and unfortunately Slandered by Muhammad Ali. Not many people knew (I didn’t know) that Joe Frazier loaned Muhammad Ali money when he was banned from boxing when he refused to sign up for service for the Vietnam war.
I’ve read how people felt those days and wanted Joe Frazier to lose to Muhammad Ali and how everyone hated him because of Muhammad Ali’s rhethoric. Just like my American generation counterparts I remember the same thing that how we all loved Muhammad Ali and only a few liked Joe Frazier.
Now going back to those days I now remember how I felt when Joe Frazier beat Muhammad Ali. It was a total shock to me and the first time a “taboo” was broken for me. It was a strange feeling, perhaps a feeling to move on and nothing is forever, maybe my first step towards adulthood.
I’ve also read that Joe Frazier was in hospital for three weeks after one of his fights with Muhammad Ali and his famous left hook that knocked down Muhammad Ali also broke his jaw! Anyway, I now feel different about Joe Frazier, I only hated him once (I guess I was easily duped into it like the rest of the world 😉 and after he beat Muhammad Ali I didn’t feel like that about Boxing again until I guess when Buster Douglas beat Mike Tysons and now Boxing is gone.
So rest in peace Joe Frazier and thanks for all the good memories and showing me for the first time, how a taboo is broken.