Boxing legend Joe Frazier (32-4-1) passed away on Nov. 7, after a short battle with liver cancer. The former WBC/WBA heavyweight champion developed a name for himself around the world, thanks to his incredible knockout power and his entertaining battles with Muhammad Ali.
Frazier won a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics before turning pro in 1965. The first match between Frazier and Ali took place in 1971, with both boxers coming into the fight sporting undefeated records. “Smokin’ Joe” successfully defended his WBC and WBA heavyweight belt against Ali, handing the man who would go on to become the greatest in the history of the sport his first professional loss.
Joe Frazier successfully defended his WBC and WBA titles a few more times, before falling to George Foreman in 1973. He met up with Ali for the second time in 1974, and it was the GOAT that got the judges’ decision this time around.
Given the action packed nature of the first two fights between the two, a rubber match was clearly unavoidable. The two legends met in a packed Arena in the Philippines, and put up one of the greatest performances in the history of the sport. Unfortunately for Frazier, he wasn’t able to come out for the final round, due to problems with his vision handing Ali the win.
My Two Cents:
Frazier fought in what was perhaps the best boxing match ever, was one of the best heavyweight fighters in history, and taught people that determination is a more powerful concept than fate. Not only did the legendary heavyweights fear you, they also respected you.
Smokin Joe, thanks for the memories.
RIP Joe Frazier