Smokin’ Joe: The Life of Joe Frazier

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When you’re the Heavyweight Champion of the World, anything less might seem like a step-down. Joe Frazier had fought countless battles on his way to the top of the Boxing world, from a meager upbringing in segregated South Carolina, to knocking around slabs of beef in a butcher’s freezer in Philadelphia. Frazier grew up in an eclectic family, his father was a bootlegger, his mother a devout disciplinarian. He stood up for the little guy at school but didn’t much care for higher learning. He traveled to Manhattan in his teens, worked odd jobs but found a niche in Philadelphia. He was taken under the wing of a Boxing trainer and developed his talents. His ascent to the apex of the sport was built with blood and sweat, including tangles with “The Greatest”, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, and others. His battles with Ali became legendary, particularly due to the rancorous interplay between the two athletes. Their relationship, filled with respect and occasional anger, would last forty plus years.

Smokin’ Joe takes a probing look at the late Heavyweight Champ in his glory as well as humble times. Mark Kram Jr. writes about his subject with a restrained reverence, hailing his attributes, but also highlighting his flaws. The book is honest, interesting, funny, and heart-breaking, with no let-up in those qualities. A+ biography.

Reviewed By:

Author Mark Kram Jr.
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher Ecco
Publish Date 04-Jun-2019
ISBN 9780062654465 Buy this Book
Issue July 2019
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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