Online auction for Joe Frazier memorabilia

Joe Frazier's daughter Weatta Collins holds his World Boxing Council title belt amid other items being offered for auction until Wednesday.
Joe Frazier's daughter Weatta Collins holds his World Boxing Council title belt amid other items being offered for auction until Wednesday. (ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer)
Posted: February 23, 2014

After his death in 2011, Joe Frazier's children filled a Philadelphia storage unit with the heavyweight champion's personal belongings.

They saved an oversize photograph of Frazier's knockdown of Muhammad Ali, a trophy celebrating his 1964 Olympic gold medal, and even the ring ropes and punching bags from Frazier's North Broad Street boxing gym. His 11 children planned to keep the collection for themselves.

"But then we thought, what would our father think?" said Frazier's daughter, Weatta Collins.

That led them to Hunt Auctions in Exton, which is holding an online auction at www.huntauctions.com that ends Wednesday.

Also in the auction is the green and gold WBC heavyweight title belt presented to Frazier's family after his death. The original was given by Frazier in 1991 to Nelson Mandela. Mandela's thank-you letter is also up for grabs.

The auction contains 192 lots, most of which include multiple items. There are oversize boxing gloves used to promote Frazier's fights against Ali, George Foreman, and Jerry Quarry; a clipping of a 1967 newspaper headline that said Frazier's opponent "did everything but avoid left hooks"; and large portraits of Frazier that hung on the first-floor wall of his gym, including one of the champ running through Fairmount Park.

A 1971 award from Philadelphia Municipal Court judges that is included came in the form of a criminal complaint. The boxer was charged with "pugilistic assaults on 27 men" and "assault on the youth of Philadelphia using as his weapons: humility and respect."

David Hunt, the president of Hunt Auctions, said most of the items in the auction are affordable and many are around $100. Most of the items are listed as mint or excellent.

"The punching bags are a little bit roughed up, but they should be," said Hunt. "I'd be worried from an authenticity standpoint if they weren't."


mbreen@phillynews.com

@matt_breen

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