The boxing world and indeed the world in general has lost a great warrior. ‘Smoking’ Joe Frazier died yesterday, losing his battle with liver cancer. He was only 67 years old. In this day and age, 67 is extremely young. Joe Frazier was the first man to beat Muhammad Ali. He dominated the fight from begining to end. Frazier was not a big heavyweight. He was only about 5’10″ tall and a little over 200 lbs, but knocked out guys much bigger than he was. He was in such great condition that he was always in perpetual motion during fights which made him hard to hit and gave him power in his punches.
What makes this story even more sad is that Joe Frazier was such a good person. When Muhammad Ali was in exile from boxing due to his refusal to fight in the Vietnam war, Joe gave him money and supported him. Frazier actully petiotioned to the government to reinstate Ali. He spoke to the president on behalf of Ali. He was still fond of and respected Ali even when Ali continued to disrespect him in the media, calling him a gorrilla and an Uncle Tom.
Joe Frazier showed that with hardwork and dedcation you can summount all obstacles. No one gave him a shot against Ali. He was smaller than Ali and most felt that the combination Ali’s blazing speed and size would be impossible for Joe Frazier to overcome. Joe on the hand trained his ass off and belived that he could and would beat Ali. He hunted him down and never got tired. He scored a devastating knockdown that Ali surprisingly got up from. It was an amazing fro ‘Smoking’ Joe. He got his nickname due to his work rate.
Joe Frazier died poor. Muhammad Ali made and continues to make millions from his image as a fighter, but Joe Frazier, who is considered one of the top 10 heavyweights of all time, died poor. Really sad. He gave his whole being to the sport and boxing did not love him back. He probably was feeling symptoms but because he couldn’t afford adequate healthcare, never went to get checked out. By the time he did, it was too late. He was diagnosed about 4 weeks ago. By the time he was diagnosed, his body was probably too ravaged by the disease that there nothing that could be done for him.
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