|Gallagher’s gym of champions meet one of their boxing hero’|
|Smoking Joe treats everyone to a show and lets rip with a flurry of shots on the heavy bag|
|Gallagher, ‘Smokin’ with Jo|
Gallagher, one of the most successful coaches plying his trade at the moment and boasts a 46 fight streak winning streak with his boxers, was delighted to meet and welcome the living legend into his gym.
“When you talk about genuine greats, Joe Frazier is up there with the very best,” said Gallagher.
“I had the good fortune to meet Ali, and now I’ve had the honour to meet the man who shared a ring with him.
“Their fights are among the greatest of all time. You could see how excited the lads in the gym were to see someone like him. He is what my fighters aspire to be.” he added.
Smokin’ Joe Frazier was born Joseph William Frazier in Beaufort, South Carolina on January 12 1944. He is considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.
Like other Black Americans, Joe escaped the poverty of the South and headed north first to New York and then to the industrial city of Philadelphia when he was 15. Frazier was “discovered” by local Philadelphia trainer Yancey “Yank” Durham. Durham, along with veteran trainer Willie Reddish, began to train Frazier as an amateur. Frazier won the gold medal in the heavyweight category at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Despite having won Olympic Gold, Joe returned to Philadelphia and his fulltime job at a meat packing factory. A group of local Philadelphia businessmen set up the Cloverlay Group to fund Joe’s training fulltime and help him turn pro, which he did in 1965.—In 1968, New York State recognised Joe Frazier as “world champion” after his 11th round knock-out of Buster Mathis. Though not officially recognised as a world championship fight, Smokin’ Joe had staked his claim on the world heavyweight title. The New York Boxing Commission decided to hold this contest because Muhammad Ali had been stripped of his title after having refused the draft for Vietnam on religious and political grounds.
|European champion Matthew Macklin with Smokin’ Joe|
|British lightweight champion Anthony Crolla meets Smokin’ Joe|
VIDEO:Gallagher’s Gym The UK Wildcard