Joe Frazier vs George Chuvalo - Highlights (Classic Fight & KNOCKOUT)
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July 19th, 1967. 41 years ago, undefeated 23 year old Smokin’ Joe Frazier took on veteran George Chuvalo who arguably had the hardest heavyweight chin in boxing history. Frazier was an 11-5 betting favorite.
Prefight records; Frazier 16(14)-0, Chuvalo 47(40)-13-2.
Chuvalo debuted in April 1956, making him a 12 year veteran of the sport at the time of this bout while young Frazier was in the 3rd year of his pro career. At this point, Chuvalo had fought and lost decisions to the most elite competitors such as Ernie Terrell, Floyd Patterson, Oscar Bonavena, Zora Folley & Muhammad Ali. He had wins over top oppositions such as Bob Baker, Doug Jones & Yvon Durelle.
On the other hand, Smokin’ Joe had notable wins over the the likes of Doug Jones, Eddie Machen & Oscar Bonavena.
Many have expected an all out war, but Frazier cut Chuvalo badly in the opening round and by the 2nd frame Chuvalo was bloodied all over due to Frazier’s relentless pressure and vaunted left hooks whilst effectively bobbing, weaving and blocking. Chuvalo’s cast iron jaw was ceaselessly rocked by the Philadelphian warrior.
Chuvalo had his best round in the 3rd but Frazier’s onslaught proved to be too much as his right eye was nearly swollen shut going into the 4th frame. 2 more left hooks within the first 20 seconds ended the bout as Chuvalo turned his back and was looking to retreat to his corner, which prompted referee Johnny Colan to stop the fight.
Chuvalo to his credit managed to put up a tremendous effort and connected with some decent shots time after time, although it was not nearly enough to slow down the interminable pressure of Smokin’ Joe.
Mark Kram of Sports Illustrated reported the following;
"The cut was shaped like a scimitar and it went to the bone (later it was discovered that the bone was broken, requiring surgery), and the eye, seemingly ready to burst, was just a slit. There was another cut on the outside of his left eye, and a gash on the top of his scalp."
Chuvalo had stated that his right eye was hurt during his bout against Archie Ray in June of the same year, as Ray’s head accidentally banged into his cheek bone.
Enjoy this highlight of a heavyweight classic, and remember to SUBSCRIBE for more boxing goodness!