Joe Frazier Passes Away

Joe-Frazier-April-2011Smokin’ Joe Frazier has died.

The boxing legend passed away on Monday after a short battle with a liver cancer that was diagnosed only recently. Frazier was admitted to a hospice on Saturday when news about his cancer came out. He died at his home in Philadelphia. He was 67.

Frazier was best remembered for his three fights with Muhammad Ali. Smokin’ Joe inflicted Ali’s first defeat in 1971’s so-called Fight of the Century. Ali would, however, defeat Frazier in their next two fights, including The Thrilla in Manila on October 1, 1975.

Tributes for Frazier immediately poured after the news of his death. “I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration,” said Ali, who described their Thrilla in Manila match as the “closest thing to dying that I know of.”

Don King, who promoted the Thrilla, described Frazier as “the embodiment of what a great heavyweight champion and person should be.” King said: “Not only was he a great fighter but also a great man. He lived as he fought with courage and commitment at a time when African-Americans in all spheres of life were engaged in a struggle for emancipation and respect.”