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Joe Frazier

Olympic Gold Medalist

Inspired by watching boxing matches on his family's television set in the early 1950s, Frazier had created his own training regimen as a child, which included punching a burlap bag filled with rags, corncobs, and Spanish moss surrounding a brick in the middle. He resumed training in 1961 when he visited a local gym and trainer Yancey "Yank" Durham noticed his impressive left hook. Durham coached Frazier to a victory as the novice champion of the Philadelphia Golden Gloves tournament in 1962. That same year Frazier began a three-year run as the heavyweight champion of the Middle Atlantic Golden Gloves league. As an alternate delegate in the heavyweight squad of the U.S. boxing team, Frazier was chosen to compete in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games when Buster Mathis broke his thumb. Frazier returned from the games with a Gold Medal in heavyweight boxing. Despite the celebrity status that he earned from the victory, it would be another four years before he earned his first championship title as a professional fighter.

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Famous Sports StarsBoxingJoe Frazier Biography - South Carolina Childhood, Chronology, Olympic Gold Medalist, Monumental Fights Against Ali And Foreman, Awards And Accomplishments - SELECTED WRITINGS BY FRAZIER: