Lansing State Journal from Lansing, Michigan on December 9, 1979 · Page 53
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Lansing State Journal from Lansing, Michigan · Page 53

Lansing, Michigan
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 9, 1979
Page 53
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THK STATF .iniUVII n n nin m great gifts for him Joe Frazier, left, gives the medicine ball treatment to his son, Marvis, during workout Marvis dogs dad's footsteps Frazier sees self in son By MARK LEARY Gannett News Service JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - When Joe Frazier talks of Marvis Frazier, the adoration of any father-son relationship is present The love, the devotion, the respect are seen in his eyes as he watches his creation at work, at play. But there's something more here. Something special. Everytime Marvis starts throwing lefts and rights, Joe sees himself. Even more so, he sees a creation that could reach higher heights than Smokta Joe Frazier, the former heavyweight boxing champion of the world. "EVERY TIME he steps into a ring I feel good all over," he said here recently before his son was to box. "I feel great ... wonderful, knowing that I would, I could, I did produce something like Marvis." Marvis, now a 19-year-old, was only 4 when his dad won the 1964 Olympic heavyweight gold medal. He doesn't remember his father's triumph. What he does know is he's in search of the same medal in the upcoming 1980 Olympics. "Pop is my guide, he's my general; I don't mind him being around," Marvis said. "So far he's led me to the straight and narrow. I can't go wrong with him. "If there is a shadow, as some people say, I'll never escape it. And that doesn't worry me. I don't ever expect to catch up with Pop. He's the greatest." At this point Joe, who has been listening attentively from across the room, breaks into the conversation. When this bruiser of a man talks, everybody listens. At 35, Joe Frazier "still looks like he's in the prime of his career, despite being retired for more than three years. His compact 5-foot-ll frame now holds only a few more pounds than his fighting weight of 210. "Wait a minute," he bellowed. "Marvis doesn't have to live up to my size, my reputation. He doesn't have any shadow. What kind of question is that? Marvis knows he stands on his own. The ony thing he should look for is for daddy to support him." On a November night, Marvis Frazier didn't need anybody's support. i EVERYTHING WAS against him. He was fighting in a foreign city, before a hostile crowd and against a home-grown heavyweight product. Like the National Golden Gloves champion Frazier is, however, he first won the Jacksonville Coliseum crowd over with an awesome display of 20 lightning-quick left jabs. Then with a powerful right, he took care of Jeff Foster, the Florida Golden Gloves heavyweight champion. The right connected square with Foster's jaw and down he slumped to his knees long before the bell was to sound for the end of round one. Foster didn't get up. On this night Marvis had done his work well, just like he had done it 38 times before. Frazier's record remains spotless at 39-0. His knockout of Foster was No. 19. In fact, Marvis did his ring work so well, Foster didn't realize he'd been knocked out. "I was knocked out?" Foster asked several times 10 minutes after the fight was over. "I really got knocked out? I thought it went three rounds. "I guess I'm on Venus or something. I got knocked out., gee." With adopted home town Sam Hickman, Marvis' coach, emerged from the closed dressing room to talk to the press. "I'm never, NEVER surprised by Marvis," he said. "It's not strange the Foster kid doesn't remember because he was hit in the head with so many lefts. A real fighLer, like Marvis, doesn't take that kind of punishment. That's the name of the game. Marvis punishes people, they don't punish him." Andrew Frazier, Joe's massive 300-pound older brother, said father-son comparisons are natural. "Joe had it tougher. He was hungrier. He was meaner. But Joe didn't have as much finesse as Marvis. Joe also didn't have Joe for a dad, if you know what I mean. Joe's left a mighty big path for Marvis to follow. But with Joe at his side, Marvis could be better some day." Meanwhile, inside the steamy dressing room, Marvis' muscular 6-2, 206-pound body is still glistening from the just-completed shower. He towels off and begins to answer questions. "YOU CANT start a battle without an infantry," he said. "My left is my infantry, my right is my artillery. My jab is my greatest asset. The jab is like a steering wheel to a car, you can't go anywhere without it. "Each punch I throw is supposed to be a take-out punch." Joe Frazier, listening to Marvis' every word, interjected: "That's why I'm around. I'm here to tell him what it's like to get knocked out, to lay in a hospital after a fight. He's never been hurt, and he's not going to be." The golden cross, which is majestically displayed on Marvis' chest, has a pair of golden gloves soldered to it. These two contrasting symbols the cross and the boxing gloves represent Marvis Frazier's dual lifestyles. He says he's not one, he's not whole, without both. "I'M FIGHTING, but I'm also serving the Lord," he said. "He's my Saviour, He's the main man. I wouldn't be able to walk, much less box, without Him." But don't the two theories seem to conflict, to stand in two different corners? After all, boxing is the science of beating someone into submission so that he spends two weeks in the hospital like Marvis' father did after one of his legendary battles with Muhammad Ali. On the other hand, religion is' the act of striving for peace and brotherly love. "We don't look at it as fighting," Marvis said. "Here's the difference, we're in this for the sport of it." Just then a still pale-looking Foster enters the locker room. The two combatants hug each other. Marvis Frazier unclamps his bear hug, wheels around and says, "Would we be doing this if we hated each other? Of course not. There's a special love between boxers. "THE WAY I look at it, is if I lose, the Lord is trying to tell me I'm doing something wrong with my lite. I haven't lost, so I must be doing something right." Marvis gets his religious beliefs from his mother Florence. She was the steadying influence on Marvis, while his father was in the gym. After Florence witnessed some of the beatings her husband took, she was against Marvis stepping into the ring. "My mom still doesn't like it," she said. "She said to me, 'Seeing your husband getting hit is one thing ... seeing your baby getting hit is another.'" Monroe has a love affair By ALEX SACHARE AP Sports Writer NEW YORK There's a love affair going on between Earl Monroe and his adopted home town. Although he was raised in Philadelphia and blossomed to pro stardom in Baltimore, Monroe's heart belongs to New York. And vice-versa. "I feel loved, and it's a reciprocal thing," said Monroe. "The people here in New York accept me as family, not just for being a player. It's a nice feeling. I'm glad I can give them something in return." MONROE SPENT the first two months of the National Basketball Association season on the sidelines, the victim of a couple of minor injuries and the New York Knicks' youth program. "All during the time I was out, people would come up to me and say, 'Come back, Earl. We need you.' It was a nice feeling," he said. "Money had nothing to do with it. If I had to do it all over, I'd be a tennis player. But people have told me that if I'd started out in tennis, I'd have deprived a lot of people of a lot of excitement" The Knicks finally opened up a spot on their roster for Monroe, and he played his first game of the season at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night against the Phoenix Suns. He was rusty, out of what he calls "game condition," but the excitement was there. It's always there with the man they call The Pearl. Even though he missed seven of his eight shots in that debut against Phoenix, the fans didn't seem to mind. They cheered when he got up off the bench, when he entered the game, when he touched the ball. And they , went wild when he made his only shot, a typical Monroe basket a slightly off-balance, 12-foot jumper from inside the lane coming off a drive. MONROE, ONE of the National Basketball Association's all-time greats with a 19.5 scoring aver age over 12 seasons, is clearly nearing the end of his career. But he hopes his years of experience will help the young Knicks, particulary guards Ray Williams, who succeeded Monroe as team captain, and Michael Ray Richardson, who inherited the Pearl's spot in the starting lineup. "My objective is to help us make the playoffs anything else is a bonus," he said. "I've always said sports has no age barriers. I'm just one of the guys." When Tuesday night's game was over and the Knicks had beaten the Suns 118-114, newsmen gathered around Monroe's locker even though he had contributed little to the victory. The other Knicks players didn't seem to mind. "Earl deserves all the press around him," said forward Joe C. Meriweather. "He's still one of the best. Everybody loves him. He's a real nice guy, one of my favorites." He might have been speaking for an entire city. KELLY Mid-Michigan's Finest Factory Authorized JEEP DEALER 676-931 1 Calkin's paint wallpaper is your Olympic Stain Dealer Control Michigan & Cedar. Lansing Ph. 489-9053 Opm Mon-Sat. 7:30 am -5 30 p.m. . AUTO PARTS Re-Cycled Auto Parts "UCXOFTHISMCX" 3902 S. Canal I Trr-ir'nivi The Mock Turtle Pullover. Combine the traditional Irish fisherman knit with easy care Wintuk Orion What you will discover is a remarkable long-sleeve pullover that is both elegant and practical. Casually bulky yet surprisingly light, this sweater is fashioned with a handsome all over cable and diamond design. Machine washable for easy care $32.00 "Du Pont Cert Mark SHOP DOWNTOWN MON.-FRI. TIL 8:30 P.M. SAT. TIL 5:30 om a SHOP MALL TODAY NOON TO 6 WEEK NIGHTS TIL 9:30 DOWNTOWN LANSING - MERIDIAN MALL OKEMOS The Multi-Stripe Lap V-Neck. The Full Fashion collar; the multi-color welted yoke and cuff stripe; and the lap over V-neck make this Royal Jeff Tailored Knit a classic. It is carefully crafted with interesting welt, cable, and mini-Jacquard stitches; tastefully designed in an array of contemporary colors. And for your convenience, this soft. Orion pullover is machine washable and dryable $23.00 DuPont Reg.TM. Small's DOWNTOWN LANSING - MERIDIAN MALL The Versatile Cardigan Vest. Indoors or out. the perfect accessory for the man who understands style. This versatile 5-button vest includes 2 patch pockets. , ribbed borders and bottom. For a final splash of elegance, this Lad Jeff is handsomely buttoned. Fashioned in a fine gauge stitch from the finest imported Lambswool. it can be machine washed and dried. . Your choice of classic colors. . $20.00 Small's DOWNTOWN LANSING - MERIDIAN MALL

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