The initial “interview” sessions that Marvis Frazier and I had were very informal, yet very informative. The first one was over the phone and for warm up chit chat we talked about my other (or some might say real) business, which is what I call agricultural entrepreneurship (farming…my first book was a children’s book about gardening). I explained to Marvis that during part of each summer I hauled peaches for a living. After that Marvis began calling me Jamie “peach man” Potter and continued that nickname for some time. Now he only calls me that when I present him with some of those juicy fresh fruit delights. It turns out that peaches are one of Marvis Frazier’s favorite foods.
Later, when we first met in person, I couldn’t help showing my ignorance about the sport we both loved when I asked how one keeps from getting hit in the throat when boxing (I had participated in a “backyard” version of the sport as a teenager and when I challenged the best of the backyard boys, I thought my time on earth was finished when he punched me in the throat). Marvis laughed that wonderful laugh of his and answered simply, “keep your chin down” (why didn’t I think of that?).
When our discussion got more to the point regarding his career, I asked Marvis how he felt about his fight against Mike Tyson (ouch!). To my pleasant surprise, Marvis replied without hesitation, “I wish I could fight him again!”
“Really?” I said. “How would you fight him differently?”
“I would move more, stay out of the corner, stick him and move.”
Wow, that impressed me – as did many other things Marvis Frazier told me that day.
Finally, as our time together was drawing to a close, I asked him one more important question. “Marvis, what would you think of me writing a book about you?”
This time Marvis was the one who was surprised. “Really?” He said. “Why me?”