Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Sparring with Smokin’ Joe: Joe Frazier’s Epic Battles and Rivalry with Ali
Glenn Lewis


Just in time for the fiftieth anniversary of The Fight of the Century (Ali-Frazier I), Sparrin’ with Smokin’ Joe provides a penetrating, at times brutally candid, look at legendary champion Joe Frazier. While the more flamboyant, media-accessible Ali continues to receive the lion’s share of the ink on their epic rivalry, Glenn Lewis rectifies that imbalance by focusing on the man whose ferocious fighting spirit enabled Ali to be viewed as truly great. Based on several months Lewis spent in the gym, on the road, and in verbal tussles with the Frazier as part of his inner circle in 1980, the book includes compelling, never-before-heard anecdotes that give new insight into Frazier and make readers reevaluate their impressions of Ali.¬†Lewis argues even that Joe actually won their second fight and even questions whether the wrong man got the mantle as ‘The Greatest’.

Harback, 256pp
Rowman & Littlefield, 2021
ISBN 9781538136799