The boxing world lost a legend this morning.
Joe Frazier died at age 67 after losing his fight with liver cancer.
Born in Beaufort, South Carolina, Frazier knew from an early age that he wanted to be a boxer. After a few years as an amateur fighter, in 1964 he became the first American fighter to win the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Years later he would turn pro, and after defeating boxer Jimmy Ellis, he would gain the title of Heavyweight Champion.
But Frazier was best known for his three bouts with boxing great Muhammad Ali in the 1970s. During their last fight in Manila, Philippines he gained the title of ‘Smokin Joe,’ as both fighters battled to near death.
Though he lost to Ali during that fight, he was catapulted into boxing history as one of the greatest fighters of all time.
HBO Broadcaster, Larry Merchant, a close friend to Frazier, told ESPN, “This is a body blow to me because I knew him personally as well as professionally. I thought he was as honest and as real a fighter as there ever was. He followed in a tradition of (Jack) Dempsey and (Rocky) Marciano as the ‘Warrior King.”
No funeral arrangements have been set at this time.
Rest in Peace, Joe Frazier.