Is Marvis Frazier Related to Joe Frazier? The Truth About the Boxing Family

If you are a fan of boxing, you might have heard of the name Frazier. Joe Frazier was one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time, who fought legendary bouts with Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. But did you know that he had a son who also became a professional boxer? Marvis Frazier followed his father’s footsteps and competed in the heavyweight division from 1980 to 1986. But how good was he and how close was he to his father? Here is the truth about the boxing family.

Marvis Frazier: The Son of a Legend

Marvis Frazier was born on September 12, 1960, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Joe Frazier and his wife Florence. He had four siblings: Jackie, Joe Jr., Hector, and Weatta. Marvis grew up in a large stone house in Whitemarsh, where he helped his father with the farm work and attended church regularly. He was also involved in other sports, such as football, basketball, and wrestling, but he eventually chose boxing as his passion.

Marvis started boxing at the age of 16, under the guidance of his father and other trainers. He had a successful amateur career, winning the National Golden Gloves and the National AAU heavyweight titles in 1979 and 1980, respectively. He also represented the United States at the 1979 World Junior Championships in Japan, where he won the gold medal. He was supposed to face Cuban legend Teofilo Stevenson at the 1979 Pan American Games, but Stevenson withdrew due to political reasons. Marvis also qualified for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, but he could not participate because of the U.S. boycott.

Marvis turned professional on his 20th birthday, with a third-round knockout of Roger Troupe. He was a promising prospect, with a record of 10-0 and 6 knockouts by 1983. He had a similar style to his father, relying on his strength, durability, left hook, and pressure fighting. However, he also faced criticism for being too short (5 feet 11 inches) and too light (around 200 pounds) for a heavyweight. Some also accused him of being overprotected by his father and not facing tough opponents.

Joe Frazier: The Smokin’ Joe

Joe Frazier was born on January 12, 1944, in Beaufort, South Carolina. He was the twelfth child of Rubin and Dolly Frazier, who were sharecroppers. Joe grew up in poverty and faced racial discrimination and violence. He dropped out of school at the age of 13 and moved to New York City to find work. He later settled in Philadelphia, where he started boxing at a local gym.

Joe had an outstanding amateur career, winning the Golden Gloves three times and the Olympic gold medal in 1964. He turned professional in 1965 and quickly rose to the top of the heavyweight division. He became the undisputed world champion in 1970, after knocking out Jimmy Ellis in five rounds. He defended his title four times, including a historic victory over Muhammad Ali in 1971, known as “The Fight of the Century”. Joe was the first man to defeat Ali in a professional bout.

However, Joe’s reign came to an end in 1973, when he faced George Foreman in Jamaica. Foreman knocked out Joe in two rounds, handing him his first loss. Joe attempted to regain his title twice more, but he lost both times to Ali in rematches. The first one was in 1974, when Ali outpointed him in New York. The second one was in 1975, when Ali stopped him after 14 brutal rounds in Manila, Philippines. This fight was dubbed “The Thrilla in Manila” and is considered one of the greatest fights of all time.

Joe retired in 1976 with a record of 32-4-1 and 27 knockouts. He is widely regarded as one of the best heavyweights ever and one of Ali’s greatest rivals. He was named Fighter of the Year three times by The Ring magazine and twice by the Boxing Writers Association of America. He was also inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

The Relationship Between Father and Son

Marvis and Joe had a close relationship as father and son, as well as trainer and fighter. Joe taught Marvis everything he knew about boxing and supported him throughout his career. Marvis looked up to his father as his hero and role model. They shared a common faith in God and a love for their family.

However, their relationship was not without challenges and conflicts. Marvis sometimes felt pressured by his father’s expectations and legacy. He also wanted to prove himself as his own man and not just as Joe’s son. Joe sometimes pushed Marvis too hard or too fast in his career, exposing him to opponents that he was not ready for. He also had a tendency to be overprotective and overbearing, interfering with Marvis’s personal life and decisions.

One of the most controversial moments in their relationship was when Marvis fought Larry Holmes for the WBC heavyweight title in 1983. Holmes was the reigning champion and a former sparring partner of Joe. He was also a bitter enemy of Ali, who had insulted him and Joe in the past. Joe wanted Marvis to fight Holmes to avenge his losses to Ali and Foreman, as well as to restore the Frazier name. However, Marvis was not prepared for Holmes, who was taller, faster, and more experienced. Holmes dominated Marvis and knocked him out in the first round, inflicting him his first defeat.

Another difficult moment was when Marvis fought Mike Tyson in 1986. Tyson was the rising star of the heavyweight division, with a record of 24-0 and 22 knockouts. He was also a protégé of Cus D’Amato, who had trained Floyd Patterson, another rival of Joe. Joe wanted Marvis to fight Tyson to test his skills and courage, as well as to challenge D’Amato’s legacy. However, Marvis was no match for Tyson, who knocked him out in 30 seconds, the fastest knockout in heavyweight history.

After these losses, Marvis’s career went downhill. He won four more fights against lesser opponents, but he lost his last bout to Phillip Brown by a split decision in 1986. He retired with a record of 19-2 and 8 knockouts. He later became an ordained minister and a prison counselor. He also ran the family limousine business and trained his brother Joe Jr. and his sister Jackie, who both became professional boxers.

Joe continued to train fighters in his gym in Philadelphia until his death in 2011. He died of liver cancer at the age of 67. He had a complicated relationship with Ali, who had taunted him and called him names before their fights. Joe never forgave Ali for his insults and felt that he did not get enough respect or recognition for his achievements. However, he also had moments of reconciliation and friendship with Ali, who visited him at his hospital bed before he died.

Marvis and Joe Frazier were a father and son who shared a passion for boxing and a bond of love. They had their ups and downs, their triumphs and tragedies, their joys and sorrows. They were both champions in their own right, but they also faced formidable challenges and opponents. They were part of a boxing family that made history and left a legacy in the sport.

According to Wikipedia

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