Monday, January 25, 2010

VINO LAS VEGAS relives the glory days with World Heavy Weight Champion "Smokin" Joe Frazier at Legasse's Stadium in the Palazzo Resort

We have been very fortunate over the years to have had the opportunity to meet Celebrities , Michelin and James Beard Award Winning Chefs , and renown winemakers. But , meeting World Champion Fighter "Smokin" Joe Frazier was an experience that we will cherish.

We had the opportunity to relive the glory days with World Heavyweight fighter Joe Frazier at The Venetian and The Palazzo’s Legends of the Sport. The night began with a highlight reel of the critically-acclaimed film, “Thrilla In Manila,” with a focus on the background of the rivalry, how the rivalry divided America, the post-fight aftermath, and the fight’s place in history.

After the viewing, Frazier conduced a brief Q&A and then lead a discussion on topics such as the sport of boxing, great rivalries, putting your life on the line and the sport of boxing today.

After the Q & A he was presented with a Legend of the Sport trophy thanking him for his contribution to the sport of boxing.

For those very few people who may not know much about this legendary fighter, Joe has quite a remarkable story.

Joe Frazier was born January 12, 1944 and was an Olympic (1964) and World Heavyweight Champion, active from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s.

Frazier had a bullying fighting style, depending on bobbing, weaving and power punching. He is perhaps most famous for his vicious left hooks. Compared to Ali's style, he was close enough to the ideal bruiser that some in the press and media characterized the bouts as the answer to the classic question: "What happens when a boxer meets with a brawler."

According to Joe in the HBO special documenting "The Thrilla in Manilla" fight, he was partially blind in his left eye due to a training accident in 1965. This would indicate that throughout his entire professional career, he fought with only partial sight on his left side.

Today ,Frazier is still training young fighters, although he needed multiple operations for back injuries sustained in a car accident. It has been reported that he and Ali recently attempted a reconciliation, but as of October 2006 Frazier still claimed to have won all three bouts between the two. He declared to a Times reporter, when questioned about his bitterness toward Ali, "I am what I am."

One of the most interesting facts about Joe Frazier was that some of the most memorable moments in the 1976 boxing-themed feature film, Rocky - such as Rocky's carcass-punching scenes and Rocky running up the steps of the museum of art , as part of his training regimen - are taken from Joe's real-life exploits, for which he received no credit. "But he never paid me for none of my past. I only got paid for a walk-on part. Rocky is a sad story for me." Joe said.

Join Scott from Vino Las Vegas as he speaks with "Smokin" Joe Frazier before his event at Legasse's Stadium

Meeting Joe Frazier and having the chance to speak to him was inspiring. The drive and determination that he had as the young man who started as an Olympic Champion and went on to become Heavy Weight Champion of the World is still there today at 66 years of age. We can all take a lesson from people like "Smokin " Joe Frazier.

Thanks Champ !

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Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott