Joe Frazier passed away on Monday. A day which shows how far down boxing has gone. Heavyweight division has been almost invisible since Lennox Lewis left. I couldn’t even tell you who has the various ‘Alphabet Titles’ right now.
Today stars in boxing are the exception not the rule. Even with Manny Pacquaio, I’ve never seen any of his fights live on TV. Seen some replayed on TSN which they don’t do anymore. When big boxing fights are all on PPV so I’m not spending 50 bucks or more for 1 fight that might not last. Other thing UFC learned. If you are on PPV, don’t bet on the main event delivering. Have other fights worth watching. Then the customer doesn’t feel ripped off.
Nothing would approach the 1970s level of interest in heavyweight boxing. Ali, Foreman, Frazier, etc. Mike Tyson was huge in the 80s without any real rival. We watched as Mike destroyed people. Once he lost it was a slow decline into biting ears and crazy interviews. If Ali had nobody of his equal it wouldn’t have been as good.
The first Ali-Frazier fight was big. One story of as an example is in the movie American Gangster.
At the time no one in law enforcement even knew he existed. He was shipping heroin in from Southeast Asia along with soldiers killed in Vietnam. Morbid but true. And how did he get on the radar of police? Ali-Frazier and a fur coat.
Lucas donned his new fur getup for the Ali-Joe Frazier fight at Madison Square Garden in March 1971. The chinchilla was a showstopper — and “a massive mistake,” Lucas writes.
His fur coat caught the eye of law enforcement, which was surprised that its wearer had better seats than Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand and Vice President Spiro Agnew.
“I left that fight a marked man,” Lucas laments.
After more than a decade of pushing his infamous “Blue Magic” heroin — which he smuggled into the United States from Southeast Asia in the coffins of GIs — Lucas was finally nabbed by authorities in 1975.
So the fight was so big a big time drug dealer took a chance like that.
Random post today but doing it every day you come up with stuff like this. Oh, and I got the Monday Night game right. I picked Ravens on the road and Chicago on the road in Philly. 🙂