This article was updated here.
Joe Frazier’s Gym has been closed, likely forever, according to a press release from the boxing and training facility in North Philadelphia.
Frazier, the former heavyweight champion of the world and longtime rival of Muhammad Ali, lived in a small apartment above the gym, while he toured throughout the country. His son Marvis, also a former boxer, handled the daily operations of the gym, which served as much a community center and outreach program as a training facility.
“It’s not always about boxing,” Marvis told The Temple News last October. “We’re trying to change young men.”
The gym opened at 2917 N. Broad St., above Glenwood Avenue, in 1969, a few years after Joe turned professional in August 1965. Joe was born the youngest of 12 children on Jan. 12, 1944 in Beaufort, S.C., but made Philadelphia his home. He won a gold medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, before beginning one of the most celebrated careers in boxing history, earning a 32-4-1 career record and winning 27 of his victories by knockout. His three matches against Ali in the 1970s are often considered among the best in sports history.
“Joe Frazier’s name means something to people,” Marvis said last fall.
Marvis trained at the now closed gym, also, launching his career there in 1975 and returning to serve as general manager after he retired in 1990. Despite success as an amateur, his professional boxing career was less memorable. Aside from his responsibilities at the gym, Marvis doubled as a Delaware reverend, as The Temple News reported.
“This is the ministry God has given me,” Marvis said.
In retirement, the Frazier’s were a draw for top young boxing talent even beyond the region. In February, British featherweight Marianne Marston moved from London to Philadelphia in order that she might train under Joe. Another top female boxer that has been forced to find a new boxing home is Diane Moses, originally from Jacksonville, Fla. Jayson Sia, mentioned in the release, moved from Los Angeles to train.
“The gym is closed, it’s over.” said Marvis Frazier, Joe’s son, in the release.
The official date the gym was shut down was March 30, according to the release. Calls to the gym by The Temple News were not returned.
Christopher Wink can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those british cats were good blokes good luck to ya!,they had balls!The rock promoter from the uk was trying to help you.Boxing is your life and you trained many champions inside and out of the ring.Beware the financial banker scamboogers.Bankers,financial managers take your money DAAAAA!Didn`t this happen before too you like a land deal?You forgot to duck em and cry wolf!We still love you smoke!,You screwed the people over that loved you and cared for you the most.YO fam! You chucked our equipment in the trash.You got scambooged by the wolf!We wish we could have put the wolf in the trash where he belongs!Marvis helped kids stay on the right road in the hood from being a preacher trainer at the gym.Your presance gave us the drive to give it our all because you allways did.Doc was trying to help you but he made a mistake and brought in a wolf!You should have kept burt he was a true gent.I never though i would see the day you said nomas!Even Val your loyal trainer for forty years had a damn stroke over it!However i think we all would like to say thank you Smoke! but just like those bloody brits, We wish we could beat the wolf in the ring and it would be all over like a boxing match!To bad hecter joe jr. wasn`t around.He seemed to allways clear the trash out of the gym!Idios Boogscam Scambooger!