Nearly three years after surprising the sports world by winning the U.S.’s only boxing gold medal in the 1964 Olympic Games, Joe Frazier’s Cinderella Story continued as he turned heads in the pro ranks by winning 15 consecutive bouts, 14 by knockout — including back-to-back stoppages of tough veterans Eddie Machen and Doug Jones.
His one distance bout — a hard-fought majority decision over Oscar Bonavena in his 12th pro bout — was nothing to be ashamed about. Bonavena, who dropped Frazier twice in the second round of their 1966 bout, was a RING-ranked heavyweight with an iron chin and awkwardly rough style. However, Frazier’s second distance fight, in his 16th pro bout, against journeyman George “Scrap Iron” Johnson in May of 1967 came with a little criticism as this article from the August 1967 issue chronicles.
Enlarge (opens in new window)