Since Smoking Joe Frazier is gone now, it may be difficult to get an honest answer. But who did you go for in Ali-Frazier 1. I went for Frazier because he was the champ when I was coming along, and I just remember Ali coming back into boxing, and having a big mouth. I didn't gain respect for Ali until I saw him knock out George Foreman. But when ever he fought Frazier or Norton, I went for them. I only went for Ali when he fought the white men, and when he started aging and fighting lackluster opponents like Shavers, Lyles, etc... Seeing Ali get knocked down and losing to Frazier was one of the happiest moments of that year for me as a child. This was way before I knew anything about Ali being stripped of his title and why. Those things, my parents didn't share with us because we didn't remember, and we were too young. Plus my parents didn't teach us to hate white people. All I know was I didn't like a bragger over someone that was quiet, another black man at that. The reason I bring this up is because, one day, about 20 years after Ali-Frazier 1, I was drinking with some friends and I said I went for Frazier in that first fight. I was shocked with their reactions. They almost made me feel like I wasn't even black. I remember the earlier days of people making fun of Frazier for being knocked in the air while running from Foreman. After they showed it at the beginning of The Wide World of Sports every Saturday, how could you forget. But down inside, I always knew that was more of a delayed reaction. I thought I could be honest with the guys my age that night, who remember that first fight. Instead, they told me things like, Frazier was the white mans champion, etc... I was too young to know if more whites were going for Frazier, but if I had known, it wouldn't have changed my mind, just based on what I personally knew and saw. What I saw was a James Evans from Good Times character, or a Tommy Hearns character, which was that, "You can talk all you want, but just don't touch me or my family", character. I didn't know either of these two characters back then, but those were the images I had of black men that I favored. Actually, Joe was the typical black man back in that day, or close to it, when many were raised on the farm in the South, then moved to the Northern ghettos. How you get the white mans champion from that, I don't know. It seems like George Foreman would have fit that category more, waving that small American Flag and bowing in the ring after he won the gold medal, something they also showed every Saturday on the Wide World of Sports. I went for Frazier in each of those fights, but by the third one, I had started admiring Ali too. I never said who I was going for in that third fight, because by then, Ali had won my respect, and Frazier had already lost to George Foreman in a convincing way. I still didn't like the way Ali, although it was for promotion, taunted Joe Frazier in particular, especially the Thrilla in Manila with the Gorilla...yes I said the whole phrase because that's how the fight was promoted. If Frazier had to loose that last fight, then I didn't want it to be by any kind of stoppage. But it didn't go that way, and they say if it didn't, we would have lost Ali. A lot of brothers in my age group looked at Ali-Frazier 3 as some kind of payback against the white man. I don't know if they still see it that way, since Frazier is gone now. But I never saw it that way. Based on the documentaries I saw back in the day leading up to the first fight, it seemed like a lot of black people was scared of Joe Frazier in the streets. How else could a black man get away with calling another black man a gorilla, and they vote for the one doing the name calling. Anyway, I'd like to hear some honest opinions on this topic.