In the world of boxing, all you want is a chance. Just one shot against the best fighter in the world. In 1972, Council Bluffs, Iowa native Ron Stander got his chance against the unbeaten heavyweight champion of the world, Joe Frazier. CBS2 reports that Stander passed away yesterday at his home in Nebraska. He was 77.
Stander, who died of complications from diabetes, was known as the ‘Bluffs Butcher’ during his 13-year career. The nickname was an homage to his hometown of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and to his brawling style of boxing. Stander’s professional boxing career spanned from 1969 to 1982. He had a record of 38-21-3. CBS2 reports that Stander began to get national attention in 1970, and then got his big shot in 1972 against Joe Frazier.
Stander was 23-1-1 when he fought Joe Frazier, according to CBS2. The fight was held on May 25, 1972, at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha, just across the river from Stander’s hometown of Council Bluffs. From the opening bell of the fight, the ‘Bluffs Butcher’ showed no fear in fighting Frazier. He went after him immediately. No one gave Stander a chance, but he kept the fight even through two rounds. But eventually, Frazier bloodied Stander’s face and the fight was stopped after the fourth round.
Stander went on to fight other well-known heavyweights during the 1970s including Ken Norton. But he’ll always be remembered for his fight against Frazier. The 50th anniversary of that fight is coming up on May, 25th.