Boxing legend Joe Frazier — whose aggressive style and notorious left hook earned him an Olympic gold medal in 1964 and an undisputed heavyweight title reign from 1970-1972 — died yesterday evening after a brief battle with liver cancer.
“The world has lost a great champion,” said Muhammad Ali, who fought Frazier three times in the ’70s, including their “Fight of the Century” first meeting (which Frazier won by unanimous decision) and their “Thrilla in Manila” rubber match (which Ali won by corner stoppage). “I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration. My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones,” Ali added.
From 1965-1981, Smokin’ Joe racked up a professional record of 32-4-1, with 27 wins by knockout; his only losses came against Ali and George Foreman. In recent years, Frazier spent his time running a boxing gym in Philadelphia, and trained his children Marvis and Jackie, who also competed professionally in boxing.
After the jump: Ten of the best Joe Frazier videos on the Internet.
(Frazier vs. Vadim Yemelyanov, 1964 Olympics, heavyweight boxing semi-finals.)
(Frazier defeats Jimmy Ellis by corner stoppage to become the undisputed heavyweight champion, 2/16/70)
(Frazier’s first WBC/WBA title defense against Bob Foster, 11/18/70. Knockout comes at the 1:23 mark.)
(The Fight of the Century, 3/8/71. Frazier defends his title for the second time and becomes the first person to defeat Muhammad Ali.)
(Frazier loses his title in a two-round ass kicking against George Foreman, 1/22/73)
On the next page: Ali gets his revenge, Frazier’s best knockouts, and Bill Cosby.