RIP Smokin’ Joe

Joe Frazier passed away at age 67 from liver cancer.

Joe Frazier, the relentless slugger who became the heavyweight champion of the world and earned boxing immortality with three epic battles against Muhammad Ali, died on Monday at age 67, his personal manager said.

“Smokin’ Joe” Frazier, who was the first boxer to beat Ali, died in Philadelphia a month after being diagnosed with liver cancer. Leslie Wolff, Frazier’s personal manager, confirmed his death.

Frazier won the Olympic heavyweight boxing gold medal for the United States in 1964 in Tokyo and held the world heavyweight boxing crown from 1970 to 1973.

He is eternally linked with Ali thanks to their trilogy of fights in the 1970s, among the most famous in the history of the sport. Frazier won the first and Ali took the next two.


Frazier amassed a career record of 32 wins four defeats and one draw. He retired after a second loss to Foreman in 1976, then came out of retirement for a fight in 1981 before ending his career for good. His only losses were to Ali and Foreman.

Ali became a beloved sports legend but Frazier was never embraced in the same way. He also lost almost all of his money. He lived alone in an apartment above the gym where he trained young fighters in a run-down section of Philadelphia.

Frazier in the 1980s managed the boxing career of his eldest son, Marvis, who was best known for devastating knockout losses to champions Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson. Frazier’s daughter Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde entered women’s boxing and fought Ali’s daughter Laila, losing on a decision in 2001.

Unfortunately, this is one fight he didn’t win. Joe Frazier hails back to the days when heavyweight boxing still had character and excitement. I still don’t like Muhammad Ali; he’s a muslim and a pompous ass, to boot. I was elated when Frazier sent Ali to the canvas during the 1971 “Fight of the Century”.

Rest in peace, Joe. We miss you already.

2 thoughts on “RIP Smokin’ Joe”

  1. Pingback: Dramatic Fights of the Decades – 100 Years of Boxing! (Part 3 of 4) | The Boxing

  2. John Egbert

    Joe Frazier, aside from being a local boy (I grew up 20 miles North of Philly’s City hall), was always a quiet, modest, hard working gentleman. Never cared for “Gaseous Cassius” from long before he found Islam, changed his name and refused his draft notice. But, then, Frazier earned respect; Clay/Ali demanded it — and thereby never got mine . . .

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