“Meet Marvis Frazier” Endorsed by Santa Claus (?)

WARNING: The following is a shameless attempt by two authors to sell more copies of their most recent book. Then again, it’s a great book, so why not?
HERE’S A CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR YOU FROM MARVIS FRAZIER (and a way for you to give one to him)! EVERYONE who meets Marvis Frazier, LIKES Marvis Frazier, but the Son of Smokin’ Joe can’t be everywhere at once (we’re trying, believe me, we’re trying). That is the great thing about his new book “MEET MARVIS FRAZIER”, it lets fans the world over “meet” and get to know this wonderful man even if they can’t meet him in person (at this time).
If you are a fan or friend of Marvis Frazier or his father, Smokin’ Joe, you will love this book! If you have a friend or family member who is a sports fan, this book will make a great gift!
So here is the present from Marvis — we have decided to run a sale on Amazon. From now until New Years, you can get our book for only $20 – plus shipping (save five bucks!). Here is the link to that sale: http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0989092429/ref=sr_1_1_olp?ie=UTF8&qid=1386812697&sr=8-1&keywords=meet+marvis+frazier&condition=new
Better yet, get rid of the middleman altogether. Order “MEET MARVIS FRAZIER” directly from our publisher and pay only $20, shipping included** (save about ten bucks!). To do that, call Gopher Graphics at: 607 643 7212 or e-mail them at: gophergraphics@hotmail.com and leave a call back number. Gopher Graphics staff will get right back to you to take your credit (or debit) card order by phone.
Marvis and I feel badly about the blatant commercial nature of this post, so we offer the attached picture of the real Santa Claus to lighten up the mood. Thanks, Jamie
Oh, the way for you to give a present to Marvis is to buy one of his books … or two … or three … or …

** Domestic orders only

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Amazon Meets Marvis Frazier

There is a new buying option for the book, Meet Marvis Frazier: The Story of the Son of Smokin’ Joe.  After being available exclusively through this website since it was released just over a month ago, the necessary arrangements have been made for Marvis’s book to also be purchased through Amazon.  The price is the same (cheap!), but Amazon does offer some shipping options and might be an easier way to buy the book for those who have an existing Amazon account.  Either way, go to Amazon, enter Meet Marvis Frazier on the search line, and check out the cool Amazon product page for “the best new sports biography on the market” (my mother’s unbiased opinion).  Oh, and if you don’t mind, spread the word!  Maybe we can get Meet Marvis Frazier on the Amazon best sellers list!     Thank you,    Jamie

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It’s a Book! or, Now you can really Meet Marvis Frazier

When I placed a call to an old school mate recently, he must have been using caller ID at his end because before I could even get off a “Hello, George?” he hit me with a “Is it a book yet?” You see, George, who helped Marvis and me with medical information for the book, knew it was getting close to completion and was hoping that the reason for my call was to let him know that the book was done.  Right again, George!  It’s a book!  Finally, after nearly four years in the making, Meet Marvis Frazier is a book!  Marvis and I are so pleased and so was my friend George.  Actually, I think you will be too.

Now, if you open up to the home page of this website, you can take a look at the front cover.  You will also be directed to a method of purchasing the book using Pay Pal.  Pay Pal is a good system for ordering online: efficient, secure, convenient, etc. and it does not require the purchaser to have a Pay Pal account in order to make an online purchase.  Any Credit or Debit cardholder can make use of the Pay Pal services to make a purchase online.  However, if you do want to bypass the Pay Pal system and purchase the book Meet Marvis Frazier directly from our publisher, Gopher Graphics, below is the information you’ll need.

                                                 Ordering Information for the book Meet Marvis Frazier

For Telephone ordering: Dial – 607 643 7212

For Postal Ordering: Use a copy of this form and send a check or money order in US funds to:

Gopher Graphics

3883 State Hwy. 7

Otego, New York 13825

Name:__________________________________________________________________________

Address:_________________________________________________________________________

City:__________________________________________

State________________________________

Country:_______________________________________

Zip or Postal Code_____________________

Telephone:_______________________________________________________________________

E-mail address:

(not required, but helpful)_________________________________________________

 

Pricing:

                                                                     Book Price: $24.95

                                                   Shipping and Handling: + 7.05 

                                                                        Total Cost: $32.00

NYS orders: + $2.00 Sales Tax  =  $34.00 Total

International orders (including Canada), additional  $13.00  S&H  =  $45.00 Total

Optional:

Book Autographed by Marvis Frazier + $10.00

Book Autographed by Jamie Potter + $ 7.00

Book Autographed by Both +$15.00

Contact us at: meetmarvisfrazier@hotmail.com or gophergraphics@hotmail.com

Thank you.   Marvis and I hope to hear from you!     Jamie

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Facing Up to Facebook

People have said that Marvis and I both act younger than we are.  However, we’re old fogies when it comes to computers.  Keep in mind: we are old enough to remember the excitement of watching Saturday morning cartoons (and I’m talking old cartoons, like Huckleberry Hound and Deputy Dog) on the fancy, “new” color TV, we both used to watch our school football films using a projector and a screen, and when we first rented videos in our 20’s, we took the video machine home too.  So when personal computers came along it was a giant technological leap for us both.  Not that we each didn’t see the benefits of computers; Marvis recognized their advantages in the operation of a business and welcomed the use of computers to help with office work at his father’s gym.  I saw how much the internet accommodated doing research and the word processor facilitated writing, so I too incorporated computers into my daily activities.

I guess the part of the information age that we have been slow to adopt is the social network aspect.  Sure, we have this website.  We need a presence on the web and a website is like a home, almost like a piece of property.  From this “home” on the web we can get the message out about Marvis and his book to those searching the internet.  We can use posts on our blog (like this one!) to keep people informed about the book and eventually set up a page to sell it once it becomes available (can anyone say 98 days?).  But that ought to do it, a website is all we need.

Fortunately for us, our good friend Reggie Bullock (who wrote the foreword to the book) went through the same thought pattern we did about the social network aspect of the information age and survived to tell about it.  “I know just what you are thinking”,  I remember him saying to me not long ago, “but my daughter convinced me that I had to get on Facebook to help publicize my film making and radio show, and it became the best promotional thing I ever did – you and Marvis need it too”  Strong advice from a man whose opinion we don’t take lightly.

So, Marvis and I mulled it over.  Marvis and I talked it over.  And Marvis and I turned it over – a new leaf that is, Marvis and I turned over a new leaf, bit the bullet, swallowed our pride, threw caution to the wind, and got Meet Marvis Frazier on Facebook!  Surprise: five days in and it’s fun, and it’s exciting, and it’s working.  Thank you Reggie Bullock for convincing us.  Thank you Sadie for helping us (you didn’t think we could do it ourselves, did you?).  And thank you all for going to Meet Marvis Frazier/facebook and “liking” us.  To get there could hardly be easier, here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/meetmarvisfrazier.  Or you can just Google: Meet Marvis Frazier/facebook.

Now, about that Twitter thing…                                                       Until next time,      Jamie

PS.  There are a couple of “Marvis Frazier” Facebook pages out there besides ours, but only the Meet Marvis Frazier Facebook page is authorized by “the Man” (Marvis).

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Let Us be Forward about the Foreword

Every good book needs a great foreword.  The title and front cover may get the potential reader to pick up a book and even open it up to see more, but the foreword (or preface) is the first textual material that is likely to be read and often helps to determine if the potential reader reads on — or even buys the book!  With that in mind Marvis and I have thought long and hard about who we would like to write the foreword for our book about Marvis’s life.  Naturally, we realized the marketing advantages of having a famous celebrity do the honors and for that reason we communicated with some of the biggest names in the boxing profession.  But Marvis and I also wanted a unity of message in the book from cover to cover so we kept an eye out for someone who not only knew Marvis Frazier, but understood him as well.

Of course, because the clock was running down and the publication date was getting closer, the pressure was on to pick someone from our list of candidates and close the deal.  Then, like with so many other aspects of this book project, fate intervened and the problem of who to write the foreword nearly solved itself.

It all started when Marvis was interviewed on Blog Talk Radio in October of this year.  I was able to listen to the interview live but missed the first few minutes trying to get the connection right.  It was an excellent interview that lasted nearly an hour.  A few days later I was listening to a replay and was able to hear the show in its entirety, including the introduction of Marvis by the talk show host.  Wow, I thought, this guy really “gets it” about Marvis Frazier!

And that was when it dawned on me.  I immediately called Marvis to get his opinion.  “Marvis”  I said as I cued up a recording for him over the telephone,  “listen to the introduction of you from the radio interview you did the other day — I think we have found the person to write the foreword for the book.”

Fortunately for me, Marvis agreed; and fortunately for us both, radio personality and YouTube video maker sensation, Reggie Bullock, the man who interviewed Marvis that night and introduced him as though he had known him for life, agreed to write the foreword for our book.  Along with being a radio personality, Reggie is an educator, public speaker, and filmmaker.  His videos have been viewed by millions on YouTube.

Reggie is bright, articulate, funny, and he loves Marvis!  Like I said before, this guy “gets it” about Marvis Frazier and with Reggie Bullock writing the foreword, we are more likely to “get it” right in the book about Marvis Frazier’s life.

It’ll be a book soon!     Jamie

PS.  Another piece of the project puzzle put in place by providence.  (Hemingway probably would have hated that sentence)

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Marvis Takes a Turn (or Two) as Teacher and Trainer

“Why do we sacrifice?”     “Because when you give something up something will come back!”  (the 6th item of the “Creed of Joe Frazier’s Gym”, posted in the gym by Marvis Frazier)

Like many athletes who excel at a particular sport, Marvis Frazier turned out to be an excellent teacher and trainer in that sport.  Benefiting from having been taught by great trainers himself and immersed in the sport throughout his life, Marvis also has a magnetic personality and loves working with people.  These factors, combined with great opportunities made Marvis a natural as a boxing teacher and trainer.

Even before his own retirement, Marvis was already helping his Dad at the gym.  Joe had a stable of young fighters he was trying to make champions and Marvis pitched right in to help.  Having been in “the show” himself was more than enough to qualify him to contribute and advice, but Marvis also had a friendly way to instill confidence in the fighters he worked with.  Marvis was like a big brother to the fighters, one they trusted and admired.  After retirement Marvis put even more time and energy into the gym, including more training.  He added lessons for life to the typical training, trying to turn out better boxers and better people.  Along with the “Creed of Joe Frazier’s Gym”, Marvis incorporated “Ten Power Punches For Life” and “Rules For Respect” as important parts of participating at his Dad’s gym.

As for training and teaching boxing outside of his Dad’s gym, Marvis got a taste of that too.  During the 1990’s Marvis was invited by his friend and former trainer, Sam Hickman to work with the United States Olympic boxers.  In this capacity, Marvis was available for the fighters at the Olympic center and traveled with the team for tournaments throughout the world prior to the Olympic Games themselves.  One of the highlights of his work with the team was a tournament in Italy where the US boxers did very well and everyone got lots of free spaghetti and meatballs!

About a decade later, Marvis had another stint as a trainer outside of his Dad’s gym when he worked with his own sister, Jacqui Frazier-Lyde.  Jacqui was only two years younger than Marvis but in 2000, at the age of 38, she decided to take a shot at women’s professional boxing.  Luckily for her she had a world champion father, a very talented brother, and the fighting spirit of both.  For the first two years of her three year career, Marvis taught Jacqui every thing he knew, helping her to a 13 and 1 career record and two light heavyweight titles.  I’m sure the brother and sister team had lots of fun working together those two years, but I can’t help wondering if Jacqui ever got the opportunity to get Marvis back for the time he punched her in the stomach when they were kids!

As a teacher and trainer, Marvis Frazier proved himself to be a natural throughout the years, resulting in a high rate of success for “Power Punch 4” of the “Ten Power Punches For Life”  that Marvis posted in his “Dad’s gym:   Faithfulness Between Teacher & Student!

Until next time,     Jamie

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Is It a Book Yet? What Does He Do Around Here, Anyway?

About half way through the audio greeting from Marvis on the home page of our website, you can hear Marvis say “I have a book coming out, Jamie has been working on it for I don’t know how long”.  Marvis, who takes what life hands him in stride, doesn’t keep track of such things and doesn’t worry about them either.  Me, on the other hand, I’m just a little bit more uptight about deadlines (even if they are self-imposed) and I can tell you exactly how long we have been working on the book (more about that later).  After all, I look at that count down clock everyday when I open the e-mails to the website and if nothing else it reminds me just how fast time flies (when you are having fun or writing a book!).  141 days?

So here’s the math: Marvis and I started the book two years and eleven months ago, almost to the day.  It took us  nearly four months of interviews and conversations before the first word was put to paper, then enough additional words poured out to give us the rough draft to chapter one (you can hear a reading of it on the home page).  Individual chapters were slow to come but an outline for the entire book was finished after about a year’s time and hasn’t needed much adjustment since.  The interviews and conversations we have had, if written down verbatim, would fill volumes.  But just as the maple sap collector boils away so much water to get to the syrup, the writer has to strain a sea of words to get to the story.  “Straining” for this book has been easy because the story is so great and so easy to see.  141 days?

So, after two years and eleven months, almost to the day, the text of the book is nearly done.  Hallelujah!  But, because the story is almost done, is it a book yet?  Well, even setting the entire publishing part of the process aside, here are a few of the things that still have to be done: copy editing (good grammar please), fact checking (was that really what he said?), photo selection (aww, Marvis, you were so cute when you were a kid), cover design (that ought to get your attention), foreword (“and the mystery foreword writer is…”), afterword (by yours truly), credits page (expert witnesses), back cover design (that ought to keep your attention), acknowledgments page (thanks Mom, Dad, Sis…), table of contents (that’s in there?), index (that word is in there…twice?), etc. (and so on).  141 days?

Thinking of all that Marvis and I have done so far on the book, yet all we still have to do somehow reminds me of the time a new employee at our store kept making suggestions to my son of things I could do to help the two of them close the store quicker.  My son, knowing I had a huge list of “owner” things to do myself, kept telling the new employee “No, my dad can’t help us with that”.  Finally, after about ten of his work suggestions for me were vetoed by my son, the exasperated but naive new employee barked out “well, what does he do around here, anyway?!”.  141 days!

Until next time,     Jamie

 

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“Why You, Marvis Frazier?” “Why Me, Jamie Potter?”

After filling my 1983 Dodge truck with gas, I completed my routine of buying the USA Today newspaper.  I had no intention of reading the paper at that time, after all it was already 10:30 and I was expected at the peach depot by noon, but by buying it now I would have it when I stopped for lunch or supper later.  Eventually, after reaching my destination on time, loading the peaches, and heading back north, I did stop for lunch and I did read the paper.

Most of the news of the day was of no interest to me, but as I leafed through, passing over the “national news”, “business”, and “sports” sections, something caught my eye in the “living” section.  There on the page that listed the new releases on DVD was a review of a movie I thought I would enjoy.  It was a documentary about the rivalry between boxers Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali.  It was entitled “Thrilla in Manila”, named I presume after their third and final fight.  What piqued my interest was the indication that the film focused on Joe Frazier.  I finished my sandwich, made a mental note of the release date, tossed the newspaper into the can with the rest of my trash, and headed back to the truck.

As the release date of the movie approached, its unavailability at the local Blockbuster led me to order my own copy directly from Amazon.  On the day of its arrival in the mail, I decided that I would start to watch it that night.  In the same way that there are books you can’t put down, “Thrilla in Manila” was a movie I could not stop watching.  Even though I was thoroughly tired from a long day of physical labor in my farm fields and should have turned in at my usual bedtime, I stayed locked on this story and its real life characters.  Although I thought of myself as a big fan of the 1970’s boxing era, the Joe Frazier/Muhammad Ali rivalry was much more dramatic, much more compelling, much more captivating than I ever imagined… and the saga included several fascinating characters I was barely aware of.

One such person in the film was Marvis Frazier.  Marvis, the son of Smokin’ Joe, held a ring side seat at the career of his father, especially during the Frazier/Ali fight trilogy when Marvis was a teenager.  Marvis even had a fine boxing career of his own.  This much about Marvis Frazier I knew or surmised.  What I did not know about Marvis is a course regarding the human heart that could fill an entire book.

Midway through the movie, Marvis tells the story of witnessing the end of his father’s undefeated streak at the hands of George Foreman.  Hearing his emotional revelation that this was the first time he realized that “My Dad was human just like any other man”, had me fighting to keep my own emotions in check.  Near the end of the DVD, when Marvis described his Dad’s wonderfully supportive reaction to his own heartbreaking loss during a shot at the title against Champion Larry Holmes, I was wiping tears from my own eyes as Marvis was there on the screen wiping them from his.

A few weeks later when through a series of remarkable events, my daughter and I were on our way to meet the Fraziers in Philadelphia, I was as excited to meet Marvis Frazier as I was to meet his world famous father.

Since that fateful first watching of the documentary; a handshake, a face to face conversation, and numerous phone calls have only served to reinforce my writer’s intuition that Marvis Frazier has a story to be told and that I am the one who should tell it.

Why you, Marvis Frazier?  Son of the great Smokin’ Joe Frazier, excellent boxer in your own right, preacher of the gospel, man who has many stories to tell.  Why me, Jamie Potter?  Small business owner,  jack-of-all-trades, full time farmer, part time writer.  Because, Marvis, after all that has happened in such a short period of time, I believe, maybe, destiny wants it that way.

Jamie Potter  November, 2009

PS.  This essay/short story was written one week before Marvis and I got together to discuss the writing of the  book about his life and was presented to him at that meeting.

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Holmes Loss vs Tillis Win: A Study of the Standing 8 Count

In all of amateur and some commissions of professional boxing the referee has the option of giving a boxer who has taken excessive punishment but does not go down an 8 second period of rest, during which time the referee can judge if the fighter is able to continue the bout.  This break in the action is called the “Standing 8 Count” but is also known as the protection count.  The referee simply moves in to separate the fighters and begins a count of 8, after which the fight continues.  During Marvis Frazier’s career the Standing 8 Count was only used once in his favor.  In the spring of 1985 Marvis was fighting highly touted James Tillis in Reno Nevada.  Tillis was known as a quick starter and early in the 2nd round of their fight he stunned Marvis with a hard right and forced him into the corner, where he began to bombard Marvis with a series of vicious punches.  For the Frazier corner the scene was hauntingly familiar to the Larry Holmes title fight of two years earlier.  And when referee Joey Curtis stepped in to separate the two fighters it even looked like the same results.

But no;  instead of signaling the fight over, Curtis sent James Tillis into a neutral corner and began the Standing 8 Count.  When the action resumed, Marvis was still a bit woosey, but the fight moved to the center of the ring and Tillis could not finish Frazier off.  In between rounds, Marvis fully recovered and he went on to win a unanimous decision in a very convincing fashion.

Contrast this with what happened when Marvis Frazier fought Larry Holmes two years before.  Late in the first round of a fight that could have resulted in the title for Marvis (and thus making Marvis and his Dad the only father/son Heavyweight Champions in Boxing history), champion Larry Holmes nailed Marvis with a right hand that knocked Marvis down but came nowhere near knocking him out.  However, like in the Tillis fight, Holmes forced  Marvis into the corner when the fight resumed and began to blast away.  Marvis courageously stayed up, blocking punches and even throwing a few weak counter punches.  Then finally, with only 3 seconds left in the round, referee Mills Lane separated the two fighters and although he had the option to call the Standing 8 Count, stopped the fight instead – giving the technical knockout win to Holmes.

Of course it is just a matter of conjecture regarding the referee’s call.  Why didn’t he opt for the Standing 8 Count?  Was the knockdown of Marvis a factor in the decision?  Or that there were only 3 seconds left in the round?  Then again if Mills Lane had gone with the Standing 8 Count would it have made any difference in the later rounds anyway? – after all Marvis was very good, but Larry Holmes was one of the greatest of all time.

Still, it is fun to imagine Marvis Frazier getting the “protection count” in that fight from the referee, then coming back to win against Holmes like he did two years later against James Tillis.  That sure would have changed the heavyweight scene in the 1980’s.  It certainly would have changed boxing history.  Oh Heck, we’d probably even have to change the title of our book!     Until next time,    Jamie

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Marvis Frazier and the Olympic Games

With all the hoopla going on at present about the summer Olympic Games, I thought it might be interesting to tell the story of Marvis Frazier’s connection to the Olympics.

For Marvis it all started when he was only four years old.  It was 1964 and his Dad, Smokin’ Joe Frazier was on his way to the Olympic Games in Tokyo as a replacement for the U.S. boxing team.  Because of an injury to teammate Buster Mathis, Joe was able to participate and won the Gold Medal in the heavyweight division.  Smokin’ Joe broke his hand in that tournament and four year old Marvis noticed the cast on his daddy’s hand more than the Gold Medal around his neck when Joe returned home.

Sixteen years later, in 1980, it was Marvis’s turn to try to bring home the gold and attempt to be the only father/son team to ever win boxing Gold Medals in the Olympics.  Marvis was at the end of a fabulous amateur career (see our earlier Post called “Amazing Amateur”) and was pegged to win the heavyweight slot on the U.S. boxing squad.  Unfortunately, fate was waiting for Marvis in the semi-finals of the qualifying tournament.  After easily winning his fights in the first two rounds to reach the semi’s, Marvis fell fast from a single punch in his fight against James Broad in the semi-final round, thus failing to make the U.S. team and dashing his Olympic Gold Medal dream.  The explanation for this surprise loss came some two years later when it was discovered that Marvis had a congenital spine problem that could cause temporary paralysis from the slightest jarring of his head if the angle of his neck was just a certain way.  Fortunately, the condition was corrected by surgery before Marvis suffered any long term paralysis, though not in time for him to avoid losing in the Olympic trials.  Ironically, 1980 was the year that the United States government boycotted the Olympic Games and therefore Marvis would not have been able to win a Gold Medal even if he had made the U.S. team.

For the final connection between Marvis and the Olympic Games we need to go back to the 1990’s when, years after Marvis had retired as a boxer, he had the privilege of helping to coach the U.S. Olympic Boxing team. An old acquaintance from his boxing days invited him on board.  Sam Hickman, who had helped to mold Marvis into the great boxer that he was as one of his four coaches had moved on from his work at Joe Frazier’s Gym and was now an Olympic boxing instructor. Once Sam had this position, he sought out his old friend Marvis to help him with his work.  Marvis happily accepted and shared his boxing experiences with the young Olympic hopefuls.

So even though he actually never competed in the Olympic Games, you can be sure that when Marvis sits down to watch the Olympics on TV, it brings back a lot of memories.  “Daddy, how did you get that cast on your hand?”     Until next time,     Jamie

PS.  Marvis wanted to express his condolences to Sylvester Stallone for the loss of his son Sage two weeks ago.  Marvis has always had the utmost respect for Mr. Stallone and knows there is no greater pain than the loss of a family member.

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