My Google Page Rank

‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier loses battle against liver cancer

PDFPrintE-mail

Joe Frazier, one of the biggest sports icons of the 1960s and 70s,  passed away tonight from liver cancer at the age of 67. He was diagnosed less than six weeks ago and spent his final days in a Philadelphia-area hospice.

His family released this statement:

"We The Family of the 1964 Olympic Boxing Heavyweight Gold Medalist, Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion and International Boxing Hall of Fame Member Smokin' Joe Frazier, regrets to inform you of his passing. He transitioned from this life as "One of God's Men," on the eve of November 7, 2011 at his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We thank you for your prayers for our Father and vast outpouring of love and support.
Respectfully, we request time to grieve privately as a family. Our father's home going celebration will be announced as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding."

In the weeks before his death, Frazier was said to have lost 50 pounds. Friends like Rev. Jesse Jackson and fellow heavyweight king Larry Holmes requested visits, but Frazier decided against it.

"Joe doesn't want to see anybody, the way he is now," his manager Les Wolff explained earlier this week. "I think you can understand why. He's a proud man."

Frazier's legacy is etched in stone as part of the greatest individual rivalry in sports history. The stocky, less-than-graceful Frazier was the perfect foil for the elegant and athletic Muhammad Ali.

Their trilogy, contested between 1971-75, tops everything else in boxing's long history. Frazier was the first person to defeat Ali.

Outside the ring, Frazier was helpless in the p.r. battle against the loquacious and charismatic Ali. Ali made it personal before their first meeting in 1971 calling the quiet Frazier an "Uncle Tom."

Both unbeaten, Frazier met Ali in New York City's Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971 and got his revenge on Ali's trash talk by winning "The Fight of the Century" via unanimous decision. He cemented the victory by flooring Ali with a leaping left hook, his trademark punch, in the 15th round.

To illustrate the lack of respect Frazier received from some, veteran boxing writer Jerry Izenberg told the story of the fighter greeting some kids on the streets of his adopted hometown of North Philadelphia a week after the biggest victory of his career.

[...] Joe told them: "Now y'all stay in school. Don't make me have to find you."

Two of them laughed, but the third one said:

"My daddy says Muhammad Ali was drugged,"

In that instant a cold, cold mask seemed to slide across the champion's face. "'Yeah ... yeah," Joe said, "I drugged him with a left hook." And they saw the look in his eyes and all three of them ran away.

Frazier turned to me and said:

"You heard that. What I got to do? What the hell I got to do?"

There was nothing he could do. Frazier, a reserved gentleman, was never going to win a trash talk battle against Ali. Ali went on to win the 1972 rematch against Frazier, again at MSG.

The third fight in the Philippines, "The Thrilla in Manila" trumped the first two. The back-and-forth battle, ended after 14 rounds because Frazier's eyes were nearly swollen shut. His trainer, Eddie Futch, argued with his fighter before calling it a night. On a night with the temperature in Manila hovered around 100 degrees, rounds 13 and 14 were grueling. Both fighters were completely exhausted, but still wailed away at each other.

Frazier fought just two more times. He lost badly to George Foreman in 1976 and fought to a draw during a short-lived comeback in 1981.

Frazier, the son of Rubin and Dolly Frazier. was born in the poor town of Beaufort, S.C. He was the youngest of 12 children. He relocated to Philadelphia as a teenager.

While working in a slaughterhouse, Frazier began to take boxing seriously. By the time he was 20, Frazier was one of the elite heavyweight prospects in the world. He stormed to the Olympic heavyweight gold medal in 1964 in Tokyo. Six years later, he was the king of the heavyweight division, winning the WBA belt with a fifth-round TKO stoppage of Jimmy Ellis.

Frazier was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. He finished his brilliant career with professional record of 32-4-1,  with 27 wins by knockout.

By Steve Cofield




Related news items:
Newer news items:
Older news items:

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

LIAC on transportation tackles traffic scheme, truck ban

25 Mar 2017 Hits:119 Be the first to comment!

The City Administrator’s Office on Thursday afternoon convened the Local Inter-Agency Committee (LIAC) on the Enforcement of Land Transportation Regulations to tackle pressing issues affecting traffic in the city’s main thoroughfares. City Administrator Apple Go presided over the meeting in line with Mayor Beng Climaco’s directives to exhaust all means to improve traffic situation in the city in partnership with the police and other law enforcement agencies and stakeholders. Topping the list in the agenda was the ongoing pipe laying project of the Zamboanga City Water District which has been aggravating traffic congestion; assessment of the experimental one-way traffic scheme which is on dry run starting March 20 covering the west coast area with the phase II to start on March 27 [...] Read more

Prev Next Page:

Visually-impaired Dapilin graduates cum laude

25 Mar 2017 Hits:68 Be the first to comment!

A visually-impaired student from Basilan Province is graduating cum laude with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Education at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) on Wednesday, March 29. Abdulazis [...] Read more


Chides Magdalo men for being ‘cowards’

24 Mar 2017 Hits:107 Be the first to comment!

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday branded Vice President Leni Robredo as an enemy who was in a hurry to claim the presidency and described Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as “a [...] Read more


Globe equips Manila Science HS with 21st Century classroom

24 Mar 2017 Hits:79 Be the first to comment!

Globe Telecom and Habitat for Humanity officially turned over to Manila Science High School (MaSci) over the weekend a multifunctional Information and Communications Technology (ICT) laboratory with a collaborative working [...] Read more


WestMinCom troops honor fallen marine soldier

24 Mar 2017 Hits:86 Be the first to comment!

A fallen soldier from the Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT)-2, who was killed during a clash with communist rebels, was honored in a send-off ceremony before he was brought to [...] Read more


Six alleged drug pushers arrested

24 Mar 2017 Hits:79 Be the first to comment!

Six persons, including a minor, were arrested in a series of buy-bust operations conducted by the different police stations of the Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO), Wednesday. The Drug Enforcement Team [...] Read more


MGB-9 orders stoppage of illegal gold mining in Baliguian town

23 Mar 2017 Hits:78 Be the first to comment!

Local small-scale miners looking for gold ores were ordered to stop illegal mining activities in Pigbogololan area in the rural town of Baliguian, Zamboanga del Norte early this month after [...] Read more


Globe myBusiness gives tips to working in the comfort of your own home

23 Mar 2017 Hits:81 Be the first to comment!

Many business owners enjoy working from home, but there’s a challenge that automatically comes with it.  There are certainly many perks, like being in charge of your own time, dressing [...] Read more


Cocolisap funds await PCA, City Hall coordination gab

22 Mar 2017 Hits:78 Be the first to comment!

Funds to rehabilitate the coconut industry following the cocolisap devastation cannot be released as of yet until after the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) regional office 9 and the city government [...] Read more


Koko sees okay of free internet access, six key bills this year

22 Mar 2017 Hits:121 Be the first to comment!

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Congress is expected to approve this year the bill on free internet access in all public places and six other key priority measures [...] Read more


Ateneo shines anew in Physician Licensure Exam

22 Mar 2017 Hits:121 Be the first to comment!

The Ateneo de Zamboanga University School of Medicine (ADZU-SOM) once again came up with an impressive performance during the recent Physician Licensure Examination (PLE) given by the Board of Medicine [...] Read more


Globe At Home Customers Meet the Cast of Wicked

21 Mar 2017 Hits:84 Be the first to comment!

The year is just beginning, but one of the highlights of 2017 is the staging of the Wicked, the West End musical, which transformed the Theatre at Solaire into the [...] Read more


Zambo harvests 80 gold medals in ZPRAA

21 Mar 2017 Hits:102 Be the first to comment!

The Zamboanga delegation ranked second in the secondary level and third in the elementary level in the recently concluded Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Athletic Association (ZPRAA) meet held in Dipolog City [...] Read more


Lamitan in state of calamity

18 Mar 2017 Hits:153 Be the first to comment!

The city council of Lamitan, last Wednesday, declared a state of calamity in the entire city. Vice Mayor Roderick Furigay said, the City Council concurred with the request of the barangay [...] Read more


Double barrel reloaded nets four more

18 Mar 2017 Hits:139 Be the first to comment!

Four more suspected drug pushers were arrested in another Project Double Barrel-Reloaded operation in Zamboanga City, last Thursday. Arrested were Gilbert Johnston y Dagoy, 48, single, of Sitio Lantawan, Barangay Pasonanca; [...] Read more


SSS releases March differential of P1,000 additional benefit

17 Mar 2017 Hits:135 Be the first to comment!

The state-run Social Security System on Thursday said it has already released about P2.1 billion to its partner banks for the release of the last tranche of the retroactive P1,000 [...] Read more


Aboitiz, DTI partner anew for Matigsalug livelihood project

16 Mar 2017 Hits:126 Be the first to comment!

AboitizPower subsidiary Therma South, Inc. (TSI) in partnership with Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (AFI), has tied up with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 to implement a comprehensive crafts [...] Read more


6th InfoCar meets with 100 IDPs

16 Mar 2017 Hits:112 Be the first to comment!

Some 100 internally displaced persons (IDPs) met with local and government agencies for a half-day engagement to discuss the progress and developments of the City’s rehabilitation and recovery efforts. Spearheaded by [...] Read more


Forwarding company robbed

15 Mar 2017 Hits:136 Be the first to comment!

The office of a forwarder company was robbed by unidentified burglars who carted away computer accessories, bank checks and cash. Police Station 11 report showed that the officer-in-charge of the Overseas [...] Read more