Boxing Show In Atlantic City, New Jersey Honoring Joe Frazier
Even though the Legendary Champion Boxer "Smokin" Joe Frazier is often associated with Philadelphia, for many years he lived in New Jersey and visited Atlantic City often over the decades. This Saturday, Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City will host a special Boxing Show that will honor Frazier and other Boxing Legends while showcasing the future stars of the sport.
"Hooked on Greatness" is the first major Boxing Show in Atlantic City in 2024 and has some big names putting on this event. The family of Joe Frazier wanted to celebrate what would have been his 80th Birthday with a fight card that he would be proud of. So Joe Frazier Jr Promotions is collaborating with Danny Swift Garcia Promotions to bring a nine-bout Professional Fight Card along with Amateur Boxing Matches to Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall on Saturday, January 13th.
This celebration of the Past, Present, and Future of Boxing features six fighters from New Jersey and Pennsylvania on this boxing card on Saturday. Along with NABF Bantam Champion Dylan Price from Sicklerville, New Jersey and NABF Super Fly Champion Leanna Cruz from Allentown, Pennsylvania, the Boxing Card will also feature Heavyweight Joey Dawejko from Philadelphia and Lightweight Francisco Rodriguez from Pleasantville.
Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall will be who's-who's of the Boxing world in attendance. Eight-time Boxing Champion Danny "Swift" Garcia is one of the promoters for this Boxing Event and 18-time Boxing Champion Roy Jones Jr will be in attendance for this celebration of Smikin Joe Frazier and the future of the sport.
I spoke with Joe Frazier Jr on Tuesday's edition of GameNight with Josh Hennig (Monday through Friday at 6 pm on 973 ESPN South Jersey) and asked him about how this event came together:
"(This weekend) is going to be (Joe Frazier's) 80th Birthday so that was very important to me to just overall continue to carry on his legacy while creating my own. Roy Jones Jr's Birthday is on (January) 16th, so we thought it would be awesome to merge the two (promotions because) Roy Jones Jr is a great family friend of ours. You have Martin Luther King Weekend, which I found out (recently) that Martin Luther King Jr's favorite fighter was 'Smokin' Joe Frazier so (this Saturday) really all made sense. Then collaborating with (Eight-Time Champion) Danny 'Swift' Garcia, who all three of them are known for their left hooks so that's why we called it 'Hooked On Greatness'."
One of the ten greatest Heavyweight Boxers of all time, "Smokin" Joe Frazier won the Gold Medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and had a three-year run as the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world in the early 1970s. Frazier was part of the greatest generation of Heavyweight Boxers and his trilogy against the legendary Mohammed Ali were three of the greatest fights in the sport's history.
Frazier fought numerous boxing matches in Philadelphia and New York City, but the former Heavyweight Champion never got to fight in Atlantic City. Joe Frazier Jr explained why he is glad that this Boxing show in honor of his father will be in Atlantic City:
"This (event would) be something my father would have wanted; He never actually fought in Atlantic City but he did a lot of gambling in Atlantic City. In fact, my mother and him had their first date in Atlantic City."
One of the Local Boxers a part of Saturday's Fight Card at Boardwalk Hall is Pleasantville's Francisco "Sisco Kidd" Rodriguez. With a 3-0 Professional Record, Rodriguez is an example of the type of fighter that Joe Frazier Jr says that he, Danny "Swift" Garcia, and Roy Jones Jr. wanted to be a part of this Boxing Show in Atlantic City:
"He's just a great fighter and a lot of people want to ducking him because he had a great amateur record, so people know about him. That's one of the downsides of when you do so well as an amateur (because) people be like 'I don't want to face that kid'....We were very intentional with building this (fight) card, we understood in order to call something 'greatness' you have to have to have some great talent who are willing to face great fighters."
Saturday's Boxing show proceeds will benefit the Boy's and Girl's Club of Atlantic City, New Jersey, and is another example of "Smokin" Joe Frazier's legacy. The boxing legend was a charitable and good-hearted man who even though his celebrity was massive, his heart was even bigger. His family knows that and it was important to them to not just showcase the future of boxing on Saturday, but also support the local community.
In honor of Frazier, Roy Jones Jr. and Danny "Swift" Garcia will be visiting the Police Athletic League in Atlantic City on Thursday afternoon. "Smokin" Joe Frazier first trained to be a boxer at the P.A.L. in Philadelphia and that is where he first met his trainer Yancy "Yank" Durham.
Tickets for "Hooked on Greatness" are on sale now at ticketmaster.com and the Boxing show starts at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall at 7pm on Saturday January 13th.