‘Smokin Joe’ Frazier’s requiem for heavyweights
from Agence France-Presse
LONDON -- Former world champion Joe Frazier on Friday lamented the desperately poor state of modern heavyweight boxing, claiming fighters are being let down by current training methods.
"These guys don't train right," said 62-year-old 'Smokin' Joe,' who was trained by Eddie Futch and was world heavyweight champion for three years in the 1970s.
“Some trainers today have never had gloves on in their lives. Back in the old days, trainers would know the fight game and know what to tell the guys to do. With boxing more than any other sport, you really have to know what you're talking about,” he said.
"I don't see anyone who's going to bring back the glory days. It's sad, but I'm only one of a few voices expressing concern," he told the BBC.
Frazier also blamed the administration of the sport which allows a host of sanctioning bodies.
"All these crazy sanctioning belts they've got -- do you know who (the world champion) is?"
The answer is that there are currently four world champions.
Nikolay Valuev of Russia holds the WBA belt, Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine is the IBF champion while the WBO king is Serguei Lyakhovich of Belarus.
By Sunday morning, it could be an all-eastern European show if Kazakh-born Oleg Maskaev takes American Hasim Rahman's WBC crown.
Emmanuel Steward, the man who trained former champions Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield and now handles Klitschko, believes potential great American heavyweights prefer to concentrate on the NFL or the NBA.
"The kids are attracted to football and basketball as they know they can make unbelievable money," said Steward.