Portrait of Joe Frazier

Pencil Portrait of Joe Frazier by Nick Santoleri
“Pencil Portrait of Joe Frazier” by Nick Santoleri

When I first met Joe Frazier in July, 1971, just months after he won “the fight of the century” against Muhammad Ali, he was on the Mike Douglas Show (Philadelphia based Talk Show). My father and I were in the audience. After the show my father brought me up to Mike Douglas’s office, as he and Mike Douglass were friends. When we got up to the office Joe Frazier was sitting on a couch. I had no idea that I would meet him. I sat down on a chair in this small reception room and my father and I talked with him (just the three us). He was as “down to earth” as he been on the show. This night had made him special in this young teenagers mind.

After retiring from boxing, Joe perused a career in singing. Twenty some yeas latter my cousin, John Gebhart (Lead Vocals / Keyboards of “Chico’s Vibe“) became Joe’s Keyboardist, and good friend. My cousin made the introduction and I got to hang out with him on many occasions. I asked Joe if I could sketch him, he said “that would be nice”.  He then said “don’t draw me as a boxer, but just as a man”. That’s how I saw him, not as a boxer but as a man with a champion sized heart. I drew him twice, I gave him his pick of the two drawings and this one I treasure.

I remember asking him where he had gotten his hat. He replied  “I love this hat, (Nelson) Mandala gave it to me”.  I found him to be a very kind man and humble man.

Joe Frazier Detail - Pencil by N. Santoleri
Joe Frazier Detail – Pencil by N. Santoleri       Click image for more detail

Joe Frazier and Nick Santoleri 01
Joe Frazier and Nick Santoleri at Joe’s gym in Philadelphia, PA

Now that I a much older man and seeing what boxing did to Joe and  Muhammad Ali, I have lost all interest in watching the sport altogether. I tried watch there fight on you tube recently and had to shut it off

Joe Frazier and Nick Santoleri at a restaurant in Havertown, PA
Joe Frazier and Nick Santoleri at a restaurant in Havertown, PA

About The Sketch:

  • This pencil sketch was created by the artist in 2000
  • The image size of this drawing is 10 x 8 inches.
  • Framed and matted with acid free matting

Price:  Not For Sale

Nick Santoleri ~ Artist  |   Pine Ridge Productions, Inc.
1515 West Chester Pike Unit A-6, West Chester, PA 19382
In Historic Chester County, Pennsylvania