February 16

Feb. 16, 1970 – Joe Frazier Becomes World Champion

On February 16, 1970, Joe Frazier defeated WBA World Champion Jimmy Ellis to become World Champion.

Joe Frazier 2010

Joe Frazier in 2010

During much of Frazier’s career apparent animosity was evident between Frazier and former World Champion Muhammad Ali. In what was coined the “Fight of the Century” on March 8, 1971, Joe Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali during their internationally televised bout in a tough 15 round unanimous decision. In the much anticipated second fight on January 28, 1974 in New York City, Ali defeated Frazier in a 12 round unanimous decision. In what was known as “The Thrilla in Manila” the third and final fight between Frazier and Ali was held in the Philippines on October 1, 1975. Ali was declared the victor after the fight was stopped during the 14th round because of Frazier suffering a closed eye due to Ali punches. Frazier will always be remembered for his bouts against George Foreman, Jerry Quarry and Oscar Bonavena. Joseph William “Joe” Frazier was born on January 12, 1944 in Beaufort, South Carolina. Frazier won the gold medal as a heavyweight in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Joe Frazier reading newspaper

Joe Frazier reading Dutch newspaper at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in May, 1971.

After Frazier’s success in the Olympics, he entered professional fighting in 1965.  “Smokin Joe” as he was nicknamed had an outstanding professional career of 37 fights (32 wins, 27 by knockout, four losses, and one draw).  Frazier will be remembered as one of the world’s greatest and most tenacious professional fighters.  He died on November 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at age 67.

 

Tribute To Black History Month

December 19, 1875 – April 3, 1950 – Carter Godwin Woodson

Carter G Woodson portrait

Dr. Carter G. Woodson

Dr. Carter G. Woodson  began “Negro History Week” the forerunner to Black History Month. Dr. Woodson was a noted, historian, journalist, author and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.