The book is packed with startling revelations. Among them are the heartfelt details of Marvis' wife Daralyn's death, the ring injury he suffered that left him nearly paralyzed, his call to be an evangelist, candid details of his fights with heavyweight legends Mike Tyson and Larry Holmes, and many other topics.
What many people don't realize is that Marvis Frazier was one of the best heavyweights of the 1980s. He scored impressive wins over Bonecrusher Smith, Jose Ribalta, James Tillis, Joe Bugner, and Steve Zouski. Smith, Ribalta, and Tillis each went the distance against Mike Tyson. As for Joe Bugner, it was not his first time competing against a Frazier in the ring. (He went 12 grueling rounds against Joe Frazier in London in 1973, hitting the canvas once in round 10). Some boxing fans speculate that if Holmes and Tyson were not on the scene, Marvis would have been heavyweight champion.
During his fighting prime, Marvis was lean and tough. He lacked the fierce left hook of his father, but he could move. He didn't play around. He was a Frazier. Naturally, Joe swung into Marvis' corner as his trainer. Marvis was an undefeated prospect until his first round knockout loss to Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes in 1983.
The Holmes loss sparked the beginning of a depression period for the young boxer. Marvis took the loss hard, particularly because he planned on bringing the heavyweight championship back to the Frazier family. Though he didn't succeed, his sister Jacqueline Frazier-Lyde captured the WIBA Championship in 2001.
Three years later, Marvis and his father were very confident in his abilities when the time came to fight a peaking Mike Tyson in July 1986. “When the fight started, the sound of the crowd got louder,” said Marvis. “I threw one jab. Then we moved into the corner. I didn't see the uppercut coming, but suddenly the sound of the crowd stopped; it was quiet, silent, even peaceful. The next thing I remember, I was laying on the canvas in the corner.”
When I interviewed Marvis, he was willing to laugh about it, which put me at ease. “Oh yeah,” he told me. “I was really confident against Tyson...until that uppercut.” Most boxers would have too much pride to talk about a 30-second knockout loss they once suffered, but Marvis smiled and credited his former ring rival. “Tyson was a great fighter...one of the best.” In fact, when Tyson was in jail for a rape conviction, Marvis wrote him a letter. In the letter was an inspirational poem. Tyson never forgot that, and the two have mutual respect for each other to this day.