Joe Frazier dies: lion of heavyweight division loses final fight with cancer
Joe Frazier will always be remembered as Muhammad Ali’s greatest opponent. But Smokin’ Joe was much, much more than just that. His script was all of his own doing. In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the final bell sounded on a remarkable life.
The announcement of his passing was made in a tribute statement from his family: “We, the family of the 1964 Olympic boxing heavyweight gold-medallist, former heavyweight boxing champion and International Boxing Hall of Fame member Smokin' Joe Frazier, regret to inform you of his passing.”
"He transitioned from this life as "One of God's Men," on the eve of Nov 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."
Frazier had been diagnosed with liver cancer just over a month ago. There was an immediate tribute from Ali, who said: "The world has lost a great champion. I will always have respect and admiration for him. My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones."
Frazier will remain one of sporting icons of the last century, due, in part, to his ring wars with Ali. The pair - Frazier-Ali - have been lionised due to their trilogy of legendary duels between 1971 and 1975, engraved in the annals of boxing history.
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