One night before the big event, a gala pre-party at the Hard Rock club on Beale honored the two contenders in Thursday night's scheduled duke-out at The Peabody former heavyweight champ Smokin' Joe Frazier and Memphis mayor Willie Herenton, ex of the Golden Gloves.
Appearing briefly before an appreciative crowd of well-placed Memphians the two principals in the charity bout, which will raise funds for the Shelby County Drug Court, exchanged compliments. Smokin' Joe was "a real champion," said the mayor. Memphis was "a real boxing town," responded Frazier.
Here Frazier (center) appears with mayoral press secretary Gale Jones Carson and baseball/broadcasting great Tim McCarver, scheduled to be a judge Thursday night.