On the day before Joe Frazier died in November, his 20-year-old son, Derek Dennis Frazier, made a YouTube video saying he had not spoken with his father in two months. Derek, the youngest of Frazier's 11 children, also said he did not know where his father had been, even as he lay dying in a Philadelphia hospital not far away due to complications from liver cancer. Frazier's death has clearly divided his family, with litigation pending over his estate and more legal challenges likely to come. And now Derek has suggested something more sinister may have been at work:
He's angry with relatives for not telling him where Frazier was being treated, particularly since he claims that the boxing legend worried that he'd been poisoned. That's what Derek recalls about a September phone call that led to a doctor's visit at which the physician deemed Joe Frazier to be OK.
One of Joe's closest friends said he never heard him speak of poisoning suspicions. Speaking about those ailments in general, Anil Rusgti, Chief of Gastroenterology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said liver-related illnesses can be associated with brain dysfunction.
Derek aimed much of his ire at Joe Frazier's business manager, Les Wolff, saying it was Wolff who kept him from seeing or contacting his father. In an interview with our man Brian Hickey of NewsWorks, Wolff disputed this:
"Nothing that comes out of [Derek's] mouth is true," Wolff said. "Joe had been misdiagnosed for months, at least six months. He was finally diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer on Oct. 6 and died on Nov. 7, so that tells you all you need to know."
Responded Derek, "Les is clearly upset that the truth has been exposed. ... He broke my father's heart by not allowing us to be together. Who are you going to believe? An agent or the son who just wants his story out there?"