The Latest Episodes of INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet
April 12, 2022

Smokin' Joe Frazier's Son Derek Frazier On Learning From A Legend And What Big Brother 23 Taught Him

Smokin' Joe Frazier's Son Derek Frazier On Learning From A Legend And What Big Brother 23 Taught Him

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Derek Frazier (@thederekfrazier) is a television personality known for appearing on Big Brother 23 where he was the runner up. He is also the son of legendary boxer "Smokin' Joe" Frazier. He joins Chris Van Vliet to talk about the lessons he learned growing up as the son of a legend, his match with Muhammad Ali, what he learned from being on Big Brother, what's next for him, the time he boxed against his dad, who he would want to face in a celebrity boxing match and much more!


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When you have a last name as famous as yours, how do you step out of that shadow and become your own man?

“So being Smokin’ Joe’s son and being the youngest, it is a legacy with a lot of pressure. But growing up, I knew I wanted to make a name for myself. My dad knew I liked entertainment, I get my sense of humour from him and my loudness from my mother. When you put that together, you are going to have a good time. I remember being like ‘Dad I want to be on TV.’ He would try to find ways for me to get onto commercials or ways to like learn the business. But once I got older, I was like I have to be on TV. I did a casting call one time and did MTV Made, most embarrassing thing! Guess what I was made into.”

Was it a boxer by any chance?

“Yes! So I got made into a boxer and it was just, I looked a hot ass mess. I had a tongue ring and was a 19 year old mess. But I did that because it was my way of branching out. I remember years passed and I had to find my niche. Then my father passed and I was like well I have to make a name for myself. From the ground up I have been trying to work, so I put in this casting tape and tried out for Big Brother. Randomly I got the call, low and behold, here is Big D on the screen and I am a star overnight.”

How did being on Big Brother change everything?

“Of course when you are on Big Brother you are in a vacuum so you don’t know what is going on back home. Being in the house, I remember being like ok, all I can do is play this game and lie and manipulate my way to the end and pray that nothing has changed at home. But when I came home, this is a lot. I got ‘Yo Big D I love you!’ But then ‘Hey Big D f*ck you!’ But it was definitely a quick change, but I think being Smokin’ Joe’s son helped me in the limelight and how to approach and understand people. Having those parents definitely helped me in that limelight.”

I imagine when you are on the game there are people that hate you. Then when you get home it’s like ‘Wait, I thought everyone liked me.’

“I really thought that I was doing so well. But I am from Philly, so blunt, no filter and a gay black man, we just say whatever. I got home and my roommates were like ‘We will wait until you get home, there is a lot to tell you.’ People see what you say onscreen, just take that and run with it. There were things that people were shell shocked about, wanted me to apologise about. I never expected it, but because the cameras are on 24 hours a day, people see me at my worst. They are watching you and listening to everything. Even if you are joking or if you are sad, you come home and I thought I was joking. It was definitely an adjustment, but I was happy that my roommates helped me to adjust.”

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So if I am going to go into the Big Brother house, what advice would you give me?

“So my first thing would be make sure you have plenty of outfits. Not outfits for eviction night, but just to be sitting around the house. You might look back and go ‘Damn I wore that shirt every other day!’ I wore black a lot, which the producers were tired of, but I’ve got to look skinny. Also just remember that things that you would say with your friends, people watching might not understand. Be yourself but a dark joke might be funny to your friends, but a million people watching might not think it is. Don’t forget to have fun too, leave your mark so that people remember you.”

Did you ever think about following a career in boxing?

“I was thinking about it, but my dad was like, no! My dad wanted me to focus on going to school and life. As he told me, being a boxer, you have to dedicate everything to boxing. There is no party life, no social life and no 9 to 5. You have to eat, sleep and breathe boxing every day. There’s the gym, running, watching videos, ice baths… It’s a lifestyle and you can get hurt. My dad was like you are not doing it. I used to train, workout and had a few amateur fights, but my dad didn’t want me in this lifestyle. It’s not like I didn’t know what I was doing, but I just needed a lot of work.”

What are some of the other lessons that he has instilled in you?

“I have learned so much on how to be humble and how to have respect for everyone. A lot of people are so disrespectful at times and don’t have love. My dad had such a big heart, he taught me how to be myself and how to hold myself professionally. I am so thankful for all of that, there are not a lot of people who instil that at a young age. When I wanted to have my ear pierced or have my pants hang off my butt, my dad was like ‘That’s not happening.’ These kind of things he has taught me will stay with me forever. He also taught me how to care for those around you, because they will be around you forever.”

What is your one go-to story about your dad?

“I would say my one go-to is there was a time where I told my dad ‘I’m going to kick your ass!’ I remember being like that and he was like ‘OK sure, we gonna go in the ring.’ We got in the ring, I had my hands up, threw one punch, and the rest was history. He knocked me out and told my mom that I fell down the stairs. I’m like OK, now I see why this man is dangerous. He didn’t hit me full force, but hard enough that I was out for the day.”

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What could have possibly angered you enough to get in the ring with Smokin’ Joe’s Frazier?

“I think there was something I wanted and I didn’t get it. I was like ‘You never let me do anything, I’ll beat you up!’ I’m there thinking I am hot sh*t and can do what I want, but I learned my lesson real quick!”

I saw that Floyd Mayweather paid for your father’s funeral. I think that might surprise a lot of people?

“Floyd Mayweather, he is great, he always pays respect to the people that have been there since the beginning. The whole thing with the UFC fighter, I didn’t really get that. I wish he kept it in the boxing ring, because right now the sport is struggling. Boxing is something that should be around forever, and right now we don’t have the youth names to keep it going.”

Some of the biggest names in boxing right now are Jake and Logan Paul.

“That is a f*cking joke! I would love to f*ck them up, literally demolish them. To me it’s a joke in itself, I think that is because of social media. People don’t understand that someone could go on social media and call out someone, have no experience and then get out there in the ring. I understand the money and entertainment, but I like the old school feel of where it should be. I don’t mind celebrity boxing matches for charity, but a real match on pay-per-view, it should be the people who have put in the time to work their way up. So I don’t respect someone who has had 3 fights and then gets in the ring with a legend. No one is perfect in boxing, you are going to lose fights as well as win them. I have no respect for Jake or Logan, and that is coming from a Frazier.”

So what is your plan now?

“I really want to get back on tv. I want to do some of these competition shows, there are so many out there. Big Brother, I might want to do that again, but I want to wait until All Stars. I would love to do The Challenge on MTV, there hasn’t been a big guy on there in ages, I feel like that isn’t fair. I know other big guys that work out and can throw around 500lb deadlifts, sometimes it’s not all about endurance. If not, I would like to do Amazing Race with my best friend. I love hosting too, if I get a microphone, get ready for a good time. I’m 5 foot 11 and I am 330 lbs. I can run, sprint and hit. It’s been 3 weeks getting back into the gym just in case anybody calls me. You can be a big person, but you can be a good looking big person. I took off 9 months of working out, that first week kicked my ass, but now I am sprinting and I can go again.”

I end every interview talking about gratitude. What are 3 things in your life that you are grateful for?

“My mother, I can wake up every day and the support that I have.” 

Featured image: Enquirer