Joe Frazier: Smokin’ Joe dead at 67
Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, who earned boxing immortality after his three epic fights with Muhammad Ali, died yesterday at age 67.
Frazier, who won the Olympic heavyweight boxing gold medal for the United States in 1964 and held the world heavyweight boxing crown from 1970 to 1973, died in Philadelphia a month after being diagnosed with liver cancer.
Frazier is eternally linked with Ali thanks to their trilogy of fights in the 1970s which rank among the most famous ever in the sport. Frazier won the first and Ali took the next two.
Frazier won the world heavyweight title in 1970, knocking out champion Jimmy Ellis, after Ali had been stripped of the championship in 1967 for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War due to his Muslim beliefs.
Frazier, who was born in segregated South Carolina in 1944 as the youngest of 12 children, amassed a career record of 32-4-1. He leaves behind 11 children.