Joe Frazier, one of the greatest heavyweight boxing champs ever, lost his battle with liver cancer on Monday. The son of a sharecropper and moonshine runner, he was 67 years old. Frazier won the gold medal in the heavyweight division at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.
We will always remember Frazier’s devastating left hook. That left hook famously floored Muhammad Ali during the so-called “Fight Of The Century” at MSG in 1971.
Frazier's boxing career and rivalry with Muhammad Ali fueled boxing's immense popularity in the 60s and 70s. The pair fought three times for a total of 41 rounds, twice in New York City and once in the “Thrilla in Manila” in the Philippines.
“The only way we know of Ali's greatness is because of Frazier's equivalent greatness, that in the end there was no real difference between the two of them as fighters, and when sports fans and historians think back, they will think of the fights as classics, with no identifiable winner or loser.” - David Halberstam
Frazier left boxing with only 4 defeats, all of them at the hands of Ali and George Foreman. After boxing, Joe Frazier played himself in Rocky and two episodes of The Simpsons. Frazier also briefly recorded music as Joe Frazier & The Knockouts.