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Showing posts from November, 2011

Sticks and Stones: A Tribute to Joe Frazier

Once, a long time ago, Joe Frazier and I sat crammed on a hotel stage filled with heavyweights, both literally and pound-for-pound, posing behind large tables and a podium for a boxing awards dinner. These men fought for championship titles in front of thousands, at a time when tv sets were all tuned to fights at the same time. Our chairs faced an attentive crowd of mostly men, as starry-eyed waiters placed plates of steak in front of us and fans lined up hoping for an autograph and a handshake. Not from me, I might add.
          As the only one on the dais wearing my nervousness at speaking in public like a crown, I patted my underarms with paper towels in the ladies room before pinning a colorful necklace of buttons to the waist of my dress.
Joe Frazier and I crossed paths many times over the years, at boxing matches and at dinners, and I trekked down to north Philadelphia to interview him at his gym for my book, The Prizefighters. A man of great pride and sensitivity r…