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Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License,

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Joe Frazier's Smokin' Joe's Chicken

Compiled by Vicki McClure Davidson


Frugal Celebrities' Recipes

One of the greatest and most beloved of boxers, Joe Frazier, aka "Smokin' Joe," is most closely associated with boxer Muhammad Ali. Frazier left boxing with 32 victories, 4 defeats, and 1 draw — he won the heavyweight crown in 1970. He was widely respected by fans and fellow boxers.

Smokin' Joe passed away in November 2011 at age 67 from liver cancer.

Here's a portion of his obituary posted by the Miami Herald, Boxing great Joe Frazier dies after cancer fight:

A vicious left hook from Frazier put Muhammad Ali on the canvas in the 15th round in March 1971 when he became the first man to beat him in the Fight of the Century at Madison Square Garden.

"That was the greatest thing that ever happened in my life," Frazier said.

It was his biggest night, one that would never come again.

The relentless, undersized heavyweight ruled the division as champion, then spent a lifetime trying to fight his way out of Ali's shadow.

Frazier, who died Monday night after a brief battle with liver cancer at the age of 67, will forever be associated with Ali. No one in boxing would ever dream of anointing Ali as The Greatest unless he, too, was linked to Smokin' Joe.

"I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration," Ali said in a statement. "My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones."

They fought three times, twice in the heart of New York City and once in the morning in a steamy arena in the Thrilla in Manila in the Philippines. They went 41 rounds together. Neither gave an inch and both gave it their all.

In their last fight in Manila in 1975, they traded punches with a fervor that seemed unimaginable among heavyweights. Frazier gave almost as good as he got for 14 rounds, then had to be held back by trainer Eddie Futch as he tried to go out for the final round, unable to see.


Born in Beaufort, S.C., on Jan 12, 1944, Frazier took up boxing early after watching weekly fights on the black and white television on his family's small farm. He was a top amateur for several years, and became the only American fighter to win a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo despite fighting in the final bout with an injured left thumb.

When fellow former boxer-turned-grillmaster businessman George Foreman learned of Frazier's death, he sent a Twitter message that read, "Good night Joe Frazier. I love you dear friend."



Frazier's simple, easy chicken dish, which has a flavorful honey-ketchup glaze and is sprinkled with lemon juice and diced walnuts, was originally published in the cookbook Cooking with the Stars. This dish is perfect for a light, refreshing summer dinner.


Joe Frazier's Smokin' Joe's Chicken


Wash chicken thoroughly and place in shallow pan. Preheat oven to 325 deg. F.

Toss onion, garlic, and pepper over chicken. Squeeze lemons over chicken.

Combine honey and ketchup in saucepan. Simmer 15 minutes. Brush ketchup and honey glaze over chicken. Sprinkle with walnuts. Bake until very little juice is running out of chicken when pricked with a fork, about 15 minutes.

Place chicken on serving plate and decorate with orange slices and parsley.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


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ABC News, Boxing Great Joe Frazier Dies After Cancer Fight, (
Ameil, Rick, Cooking with the Stars, Barrons Educational Series, Hauppauge, NY, 1999.
Irish Times, 'The World Has Lost A Great Champion' - Ali (
Miami Herald, Boxing great Joe Frazier dies after cancer fight (