(APR 9) British Featherweight
Marianne Marston is to dedicate her upcoming fight, against
Latvias Aleksandra Jasjukevica at York Hall, Bethnal Green in
London on Saturday 27th April 2013, to the memory of her
recently departed mentor, Legendary Heavyweight Champion of the
World Smokin' Joe Frazier.
Following an accidental meeting
with Smokin' Joe at a coffee shop in Philadelphia, Marston was
invited to try out at his North Philadelphia gym. The
trial was clearly a success as Smoke immediately invited her to
join his female boxing team, which also included Heavyweight Dee
Moses and Welterweight Faatimah Balmer.
After a series of extended trips
to Philly, from her home in London, to be coached by the legend
himself and his son Marvis, Marston relocated to the City of
Brotherly Love, in order to thoroughly prepare for her planned
Unfortunately within a few months of her moving to Philadelphia,
Smokin' Joe Frazier's Gym unexpectedly closed.
Even though Marston had moved her training base across town, to
The James Shuler Memorial Gym in West Philadelphia and later
following her return to London, she and the Smoke regularly kept
in touch, as Frazier had always been particularly keen on news
of how his Golden Girl was progressing, as well as taking any
opportunity of reminding her that he wanted to be ringside at
her first fight.
Following a training session at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in
London, Marston reminisced about her time with the legend that
is Smokin' Joe Frazier.
Joe was my childhood hero, he always was one of the biggest
influences in my wanting to box in the first place.
Even though I was regularly in Philly on business, I never
expected to meet Joe, at the time I didn't even realize he still
had a gym there.
To meet him was something else, I suppose because it was a
totally accidental meeting it makes it even more special. To
actually be coached by him was a dream come true.
At times it was quite surreal, like the time I was at the gym
and about to wrap my hands, Joe came over took the wraps from me
and began wrapping my hands. I mean he's my all time hero and
yet here he was wrapping my hands.
To this day I still wrap my hands the way he showed me, I
wouldn't change the way I do them for the World.
Even after the gym closed we kept in touch, Joe always said to
me don't forget to let him know when I will be fighting, as he
wanted to be there.
When Joe died I was not just deeply saddened but also felt a lot
of anger, not at Joe, but at the powers that be that had
prevented me fighting professionally until recently.
Joe wanted to be at my debut, yet those morons and their
prejudice against Women's boxing stalled my career, its so
disappointing that now Im actually able to fight professionally
Joe cant be there in the flesh? but I know hell be there in
Joe supported Women's boxing, not just because his daughter
Jacqui boxed, but because he believed Boxing to be a sport for
everyone. We were all treated the same in the gym, we were all
boxers, not male or female.
Joe was so special and I owe him so much, not just because he
trained me. Joe taught me so much and gave me so much belief in
my ability, if it wasn't for him I probably would have given up
on my dream a long time ago.
Even after my return to London Joes support and kind words were
a major factor in my determination to fight the system and
achieve my dream.
On the 27th April, I WILL win and WILL do it in style as I am
fighting for the memory of one of the greatest people, as well
as greatest boxers, I have ever had the pleasure of knowing,
Smokin' Joe Frazier.
Marianne Marston versus Aleksandra Jasjukevica features on the
undercard of Dean Irish Lightning Byrne - Jay IOW Assassin
Morris International Masters Welterweight Championship clash
which headlines Dave Murphys Thunderdrome Promotions Thunder &
Lightning event at York Hall, Bethnal Green in London on the
27th April 2013.
Tickets, priced £65 (Ringside), £35 (Floor) and £30 (Balcony)
are available on-line at tkoboxoffice.com and
mariannemarston.com or in person at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in
Canning Town, London E16 4SA - tkoboxinggym.com - or the
Ringtone Gym in Euston, London NW1 2PB -
ringtonehealthandfitness.com - Tel: 07960 850645 or 07557 641597
for further information.