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On Nov. 7th, boxing lost a great champion, Smokin' Joe Frazier. Though he only held the heavyweight title for 2 years, successfully defending it against 3 men, he will forever be linked to his 3 battles against "The Greatest" Muhammad Ali. While Ali has loomed bigger than life, in the hearts of not only black people, but people worldwide, Joe Frazier was pretty much overlooked. He did not possess the "looks", charisma or media presence that Ali had, and throughout most of his life after his retirement, he harbored a hatred for the man he felt, insulted him as a man and a black man.
What did Joe Frazier symbolize? Was he the "ugly duckling" because of his profoundly African features and complexion? Did Ali go too far in his taunts of Frazier, despite his real objective of selling the fight?
In all, is there a correlation between the Ali-Frazer psychological conflicts and the "color issues" the still, seem to plague the black community?
How good of a fighter was Joe Frazier? Is he, in his words, above Ali, because in his words, "beat him all three times"? Has history been fair to him. Will his passing mark a re-evaluation?
Was he during the 60s, "the white man's boy", or his own man?
On Saturday, November 19th, A New Day for Al-Islam Aftershow will retrospect the life, times and significance of Smokin' Joe Fray-Jahh!
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