Amazing Amateur

Marvis Frazier had an outstanding amateur boxing career.  His record speaks for itself.  Fifty-six wins and only two losses.  Marvis won his first forty-four amateur bouts in a row. His first loss as an amateur was a very close decision.  The other loss Marvis suffered as an amateur was to James Broad in the Olympic trials.  This loss however was considered a fluke (though you are going to have to read the book when it comes out next spring to get the whole story).  Suffice it to say that Marvis Frazier was only a couple of points on a judge’s card and some bad luck away from being undefeated as an amateur.

During his reign as the top amateur heavyweight, Marvis defeated some big name opponents.  The list of his victims included: Mitch Green, Tim Witherspoon, James “Bonecrusher” Smith, Tony Tubbs, Jimmy Clark, and Philipp Brown.  Because of his smaller size (not quite 200 lbs.) and his “hit and not get hit ” style (which he learned from his head amateur trainer, George Benton), Marvis was not viewed as unbeatable and early in his amateur career was rarely favored to win tournaments.

Yet win he did; by the time the 1980 Olympic trials rolled around, Marvis had won: the National Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championship, the Junior Olympic World Heavyweight Championship, and the A.A.U. Heavyweight Championship.  Finally this underrated superstar of amateur boxing got the recognition that he deserved when he was picked as the favorite to win the Olympic trials and represent the USA at the heavyweight slot.  Unfortunately, fate and a big guy named Broad had a different idea.

If you would like to see a great amateur fighter in action, check out our fight clip called “Marvis Frazier Tops Tony Tubbs”.  Oh, and that guy you will hear in the background wildly cheering Marvis on is Smokin’ Joe – he is supposed to be helping to announce the fight!     Until next time,    Jamie

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