What’s it like to be the son of a boxing legend and try to follow in your father’s footsteps? A locally produced book on Marvis Frazier answers that question and more.
Frazier, 53, son of former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, will be at several locations in the area to meet people and sign copies of his book, “Meet Marvis Frazier: The story of the son of Smokin’ Joe.”
He will be with co-author Jamie Potter, owner of local business Pie in the Sky. The book was printed at the Village Printer and published by Potter’s Gopher Graphics.
The stops are Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at Oneonta Boys and Girls Club on River Street, 1 to 5 p.m. at Pie in the Sky, state Route 7 in Otego. On Sunday, he will be guest speaker at Word of Faith Christian Family Center at 6568 state Route 7, Maryland, starting at 10 a.m.
Potter said he met Joe and Marvis Frazier in 2009 after he was watching a documentary about the 1975 “Thrilla in Manila” — the third fight between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, which Frazier lost. Potter wanted to meet Joe Frazier, and when he called his gym, Marvis answered the phone and arranged the meeting.
The two became friends, and the idea for the book arose when Potter heard stories from father and son and realized that Marvis had an interesting story to tell. Potter, who has a degree in English and has written a children’s book, felt he could tell it.
“I wanted to give him a shot,” Marvis Frazier said. “I think it’s great.”
The title sums up the book well, Potter said.
“It lets people meet Marvis Frazier, and walk in his footsteps.” It’s written as Marvis Frazier would talk, not shying away from his Christian faith, he said.
Marvis Frazier was born-again at age 16 while dating his childhood sweetheart, whom he later married. She died in 2001. Potter includes stories of some of the fighters he knew, including Larry Holmes, George Foreman and of course his father, Joe, who died in 2011.
Marvis Frazier said after a loss to Holmes in 1983, he became clinically depressed, a condition that lifted five years later with the help of God.
It was after a loss to Mike Tyson in in 1986, he said, that he realized he would not fulfill his dream of becoming the heavyweight champion. It started at age 10, when he saw his father come home with “big knots of money.” After seeing his father defeated at the “Thrilla,” he was determined to “bring back the title to the Frazier family.”
He fought several more fights until 1988, winning them all. According to the book jacket “it would take Marvis many years and help from God to put it all back together.”
“A lot of people don’t realize what a good boxer Marvis was,” Potter said. Besides a number of amateur titles, he had a professional record of 19-2.