Joe Frazier vs. Earnie Shavers. Figure it for February.Credit the television boxing boom and take it from promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, Inc., Frazier is anxious to end his retirement of 17 months ago.
A Joe Frazier comeback from the oblivion into which George Foreman knocked him with a fifth-round KO. Can a George Foreman comeback be far behind?
Frazier, 34, has been working hard in his Philadelphia gym and is around 221 pounds, they say, about 10 more than his prime fighting weight - heaven forbid he should make a flabby fool of himself as Jerry Quarry did, a-comeback the other night.
But Smokin' Joe, experiencing more flats than sharps in his singing carrer with "The Knockouts," feels he can take Shavers," according to Arum's partner, Butch Lewis. "And he thinks it would lead to a fourth fight with Muhammad Ali, Joe wants Ali bad . . . (Jimmy) Young, (Ronn) Lyle and Shavers."
"As a friend, I don't want him to fight," said Lewis, "but . . " Frazier's manager, Eddie Futch, spoke similarly: "I told him I didn't see any future in it . . . But I love him . . . If he wants me, I'll be with him" . . .