You were either a fan of Smokin’ Joe Frazier or Mohammed Ali. I came from a divided home. My grandfather and I were Frazier fans. My mother is still an Ali fan. It was the Fight of the Century. I suppose, because Frazier was from South Carolina, schools all over the state were taking it seriously. At mine, we actually had a school wide vote that day. Frazier came out the winner. Like I said, it was a South Carolina thing.
That night, my grandfather and I were glued to the television. Grandy and I would watch baseball and boxing. He knew a tremendous amount about boxing. During his later years, when he was suffering from dementia, I could be visiting there in Florida, and we would watch baseball together. We would always watch Olympic boxing together. But that night, in 1971, was one of the biggest.
Smokin’ Joe died tonight.