From Morning Edition, June 2001 “Unfinished Business— Daughters of Destiny:”
Sez the Sisters:
On Monday, Joe Frazier, the great heavyweight boxing champion, died. We had the honor of interviewing Smokin’ Joe at his gym in Philadelphia in 2001. A sweet man, a tough man, a man with eleven children, a man who was caught square in the racial politics of the 1960s. Joe was in the ring that day with his son, Marvis, training his 39-year-old daughter, Jacqui as she prepared to fight Muhammed Ali’s daughter, Laila, and avenge her father’s lost title.The fight was billed “Ali vs. Frazier IV” and fought at a casino on the Oneida Nation in upstate New York. Jacqui and Laila’s match was a continuation of the blood feud that fueled their fathers’ three title fights in the 1970s. We were there to record that story.
We came and went from the gym in Philly, chronicling the saga of the Frazier family, seeing Joe add two cents here, a jab there, struggling with his words and his stories. He was gracious and kind to us. We honor him today.
We called our story “Unfinished Business: Daughters of Destiny.” It aired on Morning Edition a decade ago. Sportswriter Burt Sugar’s description of Frazier’s “bodacious, pluperfect punch” in the 15th round that dropped Ali at Madison Square Garden is mesmerizing.