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Summary

When boxing was bold, bright, and glamorous and the fights were the hottest sporting events of the year, Joe Frazier was king as the Heavyweight Champion of the World. From 1970 to 1973 he reigned. With a career record of 32-4-1 with twenty-seven knockouts and an Olympic gold medal, Frazier leaves little question that he was one of the greatest fighters of all time.

Well-known, loved, and revered as a gentleman and a fierce competitor in the ring, Joe Frazier speaks his mind in Smokin' Joe - about growing up poor and fighting in the first $2.5million bout; about the early days of his friendship with Muhammad Ali and how their relationship changed; and about the often corrupt world of boxing and what really went on inside and outside the ring.

Personable, good-natured, and funny, Frazier's story is a real delight.

©2013 Joe Frazier and Phil Berger (P)2013 AudioGO

What listeners say about Smokin' Joe

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

They don't make them like that any more!

Would you listen to Smokin' Joe again? Why?

Yes - easy to listen to, well read and motivational

What other book might you compare Smokin' Joe to, and why?

Hard to say - this book isn't quite as detailed and wild as, for example, Keith Richards' autobiography, but I found it interesting for different reasons, e.g. the social context (with ref to his feud with Ali)

Which scene did you most enjoy?

'Enjoy' is probably the wrong word, but it was quite shocking to hear the extremes that Ali went to when trying to get under Frazier's skin. Well beneath someone of Ali's stature, even then, and not surprising that it caused such bitterness

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Probably something like 'Relentless' - even when he'd made his money he didn't sit back and get sloppy, he was still getting back in the ring and taking on real fighters

Any additional comments?

The feud with Ali is a story that goes well beyond boxing and into issues of race, religion, money and media hype.

2 people found this helpful

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great insight to a true champion and loving man

absolute joy to read a true pro who lived to the full through hard work and will great farther friend fighter and all round champion in and out of the ring! smoking Joe frazier a TRUE legend!

1 person found this helpful

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The Real Rocky!

What made the experience of listening to Smokin' Joe the most enjoyable?

The narration and the fact that Joe and his writer made each chapter with minimum fluff, getting straight to the point, easily followable, easily enjoyable

What other book might you compare Smokin' Joe to, and why?

Mike Tyson Autobiography and Muhammad Ali Autobiography - listen to them as well - all excellent!

What about Bill Andrew Quinn’s performance did you like?

Great performance trying to imitate Joe's voice - easily listening.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Real Rocky!

Any additional comments?

This is the real Rocky - similarities to Rocky Balboa:
1. Trained in Philadelphia.
2. Fought a loud brash fighter (Apollo Creed = Muhammad Ali)
3. Short fighter like Balboa known able to take a lot of punches.
4. Practice hitting meat carcasses at the Butcher to improve his punching power.
5. Started his own restaurant like Rocky.
6. Joe's trainer Yank like Rocky's Mick died of a heart attack.

Although Sly Stallone took from every fighter including Wepner, Mike Tyson etc he took a lot of it from Joe.

1 person found this helpful

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A real joy

Would you listen to Smokin' Joe again? Why?

This has been one of the most enjoyable audio books I have ever listened to - and I get through about two or three a month -. It was both honest (not always the case with autobiographies) and entertaining.
I used to be a big Boxing fan but do not follow it much now days but I am so pleased I picked up a copy of this great book.

What did you like best about this story?

The honesty and pace.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have loved to have listened to it in one sitting if I could,
I listened over about three days but normally a book of this size would have lasted me about a week but I could not wait to get back to it.

2 people found this helpful

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Insecure??

Well,I thought this book should have been called 'How Ali messed with my mind'?
The guy bangs on about Ali all through this book to the point of annoyance. Its obvious he is envious of him.
Joe comes across as an ok guy and has done well but should of cut down on the Ali stuff?

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its ok

narrator wasnt the best
the book was a good insight on why he hated ali so much.
other than that you don't seem to learn any thing new about him.

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  • HK
  • 12-05-20

Too bitter, too little insight

Enjoyed the childhood insights and journey to Olympic champion, however Joe's bitterness towards Ali spoils this rags to riches fairy tale. It would have been preferable to focus more on his personal circumstances and civil rights era viewpoints. Instead, the sourness towards Ali leads to disquiet and disconnect with the listener.

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Seems like an entry level Joe Frazier book

Not as in depth as I would have liked....left me wanting to know more details....but still enjoyable

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Every boxing fans dream of a book.

Honest, indepth and eye opening. Smoking Joe hols no punches in tjis book as he does in the ring.

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  • Dennis Okeefe
  • 09-02-21

Very good book

I was always a Joe Frazier fan. This book is filled with good stories and shows a lot of really good qualities about the man

1 person found this helpful

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  • Clint Zenk
  • 21-07-20

Great Picture of Smokin' Joe

Having read the Ali biography first, watched their fights after reading this, and seen various press conference footage of them interacting, I was interested to see what the real Joe Frazier was like in his own words. I kinda felt like Ali was part-showman, part-bully in how he treated Joe for the most part, despite him downplaying it in his biography. This book cemented the bully part for me and watching the fights backed up a lot of what Frazier said in this book: Ali was a lot more fame than fight.

As for Frazier, it was great to see how positive the man was in life in general. He acknowledged inequities in life for blacks at the time, he just chose to let his deeds talk for him instead of joining people he felt caused more problems than provided solutions like Ali did. The backlash he got from that was incredible. It's not that different from trying to stay away from politics today: sitting on the sidelines gets you labeled a problem.

Frazier was also portrayed as a dumb guy by Ali when that wasn't the case at all. He managed his money from the beginning so well by the time he retired he literally didn't have to fight anymore if he chose not to. He never got spent by the boxing machine and thrown away because he was savvy to the ways the machine can hurt you.

Overall, the book was a great read I'm glad I bought. The narration was good too. Quinn's voice was a smooth and relaxed as I'd imagine Frazier would be to talk to so it fit well. Great book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • JoAnne Blackston
  • 20-04-15

Superior

Loved it, could not stop listening, he is and will always be my favorite boxer.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Justine
  • 20-06-21

Beautifully written autobiography

An incredible insight into the life of Smokin' Joe Frazier from childhood, To his passing.

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  • Molly Dickerson
  • 24-04-21

Awesome Read!

As a kid i use to hear stories about Frazier from relatives that spent their entire lives in the Philadelphia area. Come to find out all i really knew about was his fighting career. There was so much more to the real Smokin Joe! Great Book!

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  • Charles Beall
  • 24-02-21

My favorite boxer

Man oh man what a great story Joe Frazier has all my respect this fierce athlete from such humble country backgrounds is the best

I really enjoy how this book sheds light on what a loudmouth arrogant person Muhammad Ali was. Cassius Clay was fake and smokin Joe was the real deal

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  • ANTHONY THOMPSON
  • 08-12-20

A True Heavyweight Champion

This is one of the most humbly written autobiographies I have ever read or heard. Joe Frazier was a genuine Champion and hero. He will always be ranked and linked and loved simoniously with Mohammed Ali. They brought the best out of each other and made boxing what it is today, a Genuine Money Sport. Joe Frazier's humility and personality was awesome. What a Hero and True Heavyweight Champion.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-12-20

great listen

great listen on a great champ. the narrator does a fantastic job as well.

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  • Dawanna Lopez
  • 12-09-20

50 yr old Frazier

this is Fraziers Autobiography and i really wish it would have been written 20 yrs later. its a very bitter but very real and interesting look into Mr Frazier's life, mostly boxing career. I loved it

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  • Gregory Gonzalez
  • 24-06-20

Greg Gonzalez

If you’re a boxing fan you will be a fan of this book. If you loved Joe Frazier you will love this book. I must admit I was a fan before reading this. But now I admire the man so much more. This book on a deeper level is about personal resiliency. It’s also about strong fathers and the history of our country’s struggle for individual and racial progress. At times I was in the edge of my seat even though I knew the outcomes of historic fights. I will never forget I lived in Upper Manhattan in 1971 when Joe defended his title in Ali - Frazier One. We were kids out on the street getting the reports as they came in. I relived that and I picked up things that we all know but are worth repeating. 1) do your talking in the ring and in life with your actions not your lip. 2) Perspiration and preparation overcome obstacles. 3) family. 4) no wrong way to do right and no right way to do wrong. I’m an attorney and this applies to me as much as to anyone. Smokin’ Joe was my Champ then a d he’s my Champ now.