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The Month of January Filled with Birthday Wishes to Ten World Heavyweight Champions!

Image: The Month of January Filled with Birthday Wishes to Ten World Heavyweight Champions!

By Ken Hissner: This is a big month for former heavyweight champions born in January like Tommy “The Duke” Morrison, Floyd Patterson, Corrie “The Sniper” Sanders, Joseph “Lupesoliai La’auliolemalietoa” Parker, “Big” George Foreman, “Smokin” Joe Frazier, and Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali, Oleksandr Usyk, Bruce “The Atlantic City Express” Seldon and “Jersey”Joe Walcott.

WBO World Heavyweight champion Tommy “The Duke” Morrison, 48-3-1 (42), born on January 2nd, in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1969,
World, NBA, and NYSAC Heavyweight champion and Olympic Gold Medalist champion in Helsinki, Finland in 1952, Floyd Patterson, 55-8-1 (40), born on January 4th, in Waco, North Carolina, in 1935.

WBO World Heavyweight champion Corrie “The Sniper” Sanders, 42-4 (31), born January 7th, in Brits, Gauteng, South Africa, in 1966.
WBO World Heavyweight champion Joseph “Lupesoliai La’auliolemalietoa” Parker, 30-2 (21), born January 9th, in South Auckland, New Zealand, in 1992.

WBC & WBA World champion and Olympic Gold Medalist in Mexico City, Mexico, in 1968, “Big” George Foreman, 76-5 (68), born on January 10th, in Marshall, Texas, in 1949.

WBC, WBA & NYSAC World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist champion in Tokyo, “Smokin” Joe Frazier, 32-4-1 (27), born on January 12th, in Beaufort, South Carolina, in 1944.

WBA, WBC & NYSAC World champion and Olympic Gold Medalist champion in Rome, Italy, then Cassius Clay, Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali, 56-5 (37), born on January 17th, in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1942.

Image: The Month of January Filled with Birthday Wishes to Ten World Heavyweight Champions!

Former WBA, WBO, WBC & IBF Cruiserweight World champion, WBA, WBO & IBF World Heavyweight champion and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist champion in London, UK, Oleksander Usyk, 19-0 (13), born on January 17th, born in Shypyntsi, Ukraine, in 1987.

WBA World Heavyweight champion Bruce “The Atlantic City Express” Seldon, 40-8 (36), was born on January 30th, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1967.

World, NBA, NYSAC World Heavyweight champion “Jersey” Joe Walcott, 49-20-1 (31, born on January 31st, in Pennsauken, New Jersey, in 1914.

This writer was fortunate to meet Patterson, Frazier, Ali, and Walcott.
Ali was my favorite, having met him three times, starting in center city Philadelphia in 1973. Next, some four years later, in 1977, at his Deer Lake, PA, training camp where I got my picture with him. Finally, before his ill-advised bout with Larry Holmes.

Frazier at his gym on Broad Street in Philly, standing watching a boxer hitting the heavy bag. That was where he yelled, “Hey, move, or I’ll use you for a heavy bag!” I almost made the mistake of saying, “if I were Sonny Liston, you wouldn’t be saying that!” If I did, I wouldn’t be writing this article. Later I met him in his Whitemarsh Township, PA, home with a friend of his planning a surprise party with the help of his wife. She was thrilled, and then he came in the front door. Things didn’t go well, and needless to say, there was no party!

I’ve written a dozen articles on Ali, starting with “Laugh’s with Ali.” One of the funniest people you could ever meet.

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