Philadelphia names street after Joe Frazier

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The city of Philadelphia honored boxing legend Smokin' Joe Frazier by naming a street after him.

Frazier's family and legendary boxer Larry Holmes. who hails from Easton attended a special renaming ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

Glenwood Avenue in North Philadelphia will now be Smokin" Joe Frazier Boulevard.

Frazier hailed from Philadelphia, going on to become a hall of fame boxer who won Olympic gold in 1964.

The former Heavyweight Champ Larry Holmes said he always wondered why Philadelphia took so long to honor Smokin' Joe the way Easton honored him.

"When I became the Heavyweight champion of the world, they wanted to do a statue of me, name a street after me. Joe Frazier didn't have a street, and this is a long time coming," said Holmes.

Holmes also made sure to say he was one of Joe Frazier's sparring partners in the early days of Holmes's career. And he proudly says he owes everything to Joe Frazier.

"I went down there, I had no equipment, gloves, head-guard, nothing, but I had it before I left. Joe Frazier made sure I had everything," he said.

Joe Frazier won Olympic Gold in 1964 before becoming boxing's Heavyweight Champion of the World from 1970 until 1973.

He defeated Muhammad Ali in what is widely referred to as the fight of the century along the way.

Frazier finished his career with a record of 32-4-1.

His only losses were to Muhammad Ali during their two re-matches, and twice to George Forman.

It wasn't until two and a half years ago when a Joe Frazier statue was erected in South Philadelphia.

And now, a street bearing his name.

Smokin' Joe's daughter says her dad would've been mortified over everyone making such a fuss about him.

Weatta Frazier Collins said, "Unfortunately, my father was sometimes his worst enemy. He didn't think he needed all these accolades. But we are not finished. We got the statue done. Now we got the street sign. We are going to try to get some schools."

Friends, family and the boxing community all agree that Joe Frazier is finally getting what he deserves.

Frazier died from liver cancer in 2011.
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