Philadelphia and the boxing world honored a champion with the dedication of a boulevard. Heavyweight boxing legend, Smokin’ Joe Frazier was honored on April 11th with the dedication of Smokin’ Joe Frazier Boulevard. On site to honor the legend was Former Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes, Larry Hazard, New Jersey’s Boxing Commissioner, Mayor Jim Kenny, Council President Darrell Clarke, Councilman David Oh, Smokin’ Joe’s family, friends and fans.
The site was chosen because it is at that location that Smokin’ Joe housed Joe Frazier’s Gym since 1968. Although he was born in Beaufort, South Carolina, Smokin’ Joe moved and settled in Philadelphia during his teenage years. It was at this gym, that Smokin’ Joe trained for his highest profile fights including his bouts against Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.
In 2015, the City of Brotherly Love unveiled a 12-foort bronze statue of the champion in front of Xfinity Live. However, now his legacy is recognized daily at the location where Smokin’ Joe changed so many lives through the world of boxing. As an Olympic Gold Medalist, International Boxing Hall of Famer, Former WBA World Heavyweight Champion, trainer and mentor, Smokin’ Joe Frazier positively impacted thousands of fighters at his gym that he ran successfully for many years. Glenwood Avenue in North Philadelphia will now and forever be known as Smokin’ Joe Frazier Boulevard.