Legendary Los Angeles publicist, matchmaker, and promoter passes away
By Bill Tibbs
International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Don Fraser, a true lifer in Los Angeles boxing circles, died last Wednesday at his home in Toluca Lake, California at the age of 92.
Fraser had a reputation for colorful antics and never met a promotional gag he didn’t like; the sport, and its fans, loved him for it. Los Angeles Times writer Ross Newman once said that, “He (Fraser) pictured his fighters with snake charmers, beauty queens, strippers, and congressmen”.
Fraser had a varied and storied career in boxing as a writer, publicist, matchmaker, promoter and regulator - there wasn’t much he didn’t do in the game.
He began promoting at memorable venues like the Pico Palace in Los Angeles and the Spruce Goose in Long Beach and later the Marriott Hotel in Irvine. He also promoted fights at the legendary Olympic Auditorium where he worked with (fellow Hall of Fame inductees) Aileen Eaton and alongside matchmaker Don Chargin and his wife Lorraine.
He also mined the Los Angeles Forum, the Long Beach Auditorium and the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium promoting some of boxing’s truly legendary, west coast matchups.
Fraser promoted at every level of boxing, with every level of boxer, from 4-round, pre-lim club fighters to legendary world champions. Along the way, during his amazing career, he worked with some of the most iconic names in boxing including Sugar Ray Robinson, George Foreman, Salvador Sanchez, Bobby Chacon and Danny "Little Red" Lopez, to name but a few.
In a legendary era of west coast boxing, at a time when some of the game’s all-time, California legends were packing them in, promoter Fraser was at the heart of it all.
Said the Boxing Hall of Fame’s Ed Brophy, “Fraser did it all in the sport of boxing and dedicated his life to the sweet science. Everyone at the Hall of Fame joins the boxing community in mourning his passing and remembering his many, many accomplishments."
Rest in Peace Champ.