Friday, November 11, 2011

Rest In Soul Power Smokin' Joe!!!
Tha Artivist Writes: Smokin' Joe Frazier was Tesla to Muhammad Ali's Edison: A brilliant scientific fighter who never got the due and glory he deserved in life but whose achievements will become venerable in death...A man who was once deemed an Uncle Tom but yet he was one of the few who was conscious and courageous enough to come to the aid of one of his fallen brother comrades (Ali) when The Establishment shunned him and left him out in the cold for several years...Rocky stole his swagger and story and rode it to glory and the bank...May This Champion Forever Rest In Soul Power Using That Formidable Left Hook To Silence His Critics For Eternity...One ♥!

Legendary Boxer Joe Frazier Dies After Fight With Cancer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Joe Frazier, the former heavyweight champion who handed Muhammad Ali his first defeat yet had to live forever in his shadow, died Monday night after a brief final fight with liver cancer. He was 67.

The family issued a release confirming the boxer's death.

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Frazier, who took on Ali in three momentous fights in the 1970s -- including the epic "Thrilla in Manilla" -- had been under home hospice care after being diagnosed just weeks ago with the cancer that took his life, a family friend said. Until then, Frazier had been doing regular autograph appearances, including one in Las Vegas in September.

Smokin' Joe was a small yet ferocious fighter who smothered his opponents with punches, including a devastating left hook he used to end many of his fights early. It was the left hook that dropped Ali in the 15th round at Madison Square Garden in 1971 to seal a win in the so-called "Fight of the Century."

Though he beat Ali in that fight, Frazier lost the final two and for many years was bitter about the role Ali forced him to play as his foil.

Frazier was diagnosed last month with the disease, his personal and business manager said. Leslie Wolff, who has been Frazier's manager for seven years, said the boxer had been in out and out of the hospital since early October and receiving hospice treatment the last week.

40 years later, Ali and Frazier still a classic

Frazier was the first man to beat Ali, knocking him down and taking a decision in the so-called Fight of the Century in 1971. He would go on to lose two more fights to Ali, including the epic "Thrilla in Manila" bout.

Frazier was bitter for many years about the way Ali treated him then. More recently, he said he had forgiven Ali for repeatedly taunting him.

While the "Fight of the Century" is celebrated in boxing lore, Ali and Frazier put on an even better show in their third fight, held in a sweltering arena in Manila as part of Ali's world tour of fights in 1975. Nearly blinded by Ali's punches, Frazier still wanted to go out for the 15th round of the fight but was held back by trainer Eddie Futch in a bout Ali would later say was the closest thing to death he could imagine.

Frazier won the heavyweight title in 1970 by stopping Jimmy Ellis in the fifth round of their fight at Madison Square Garden. Frazier defended it successfully four times before George Foreman knocked him down six times in the first two rounds to take the title from him in 1973.

Frazier would never be heavyweight champion again.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


Ali Says He'll Remember Frazier With Respect

By Mike Fitzpatrick
AP Sports Writer

There was a time when Muhammad Ali taunted Joe Frazier relentlessly, called him ugly and challenged his manhood.

After his old rival died Monday night, Ali had nothing but kind words for Smokin' Joe.

"The world has lost a great champion. I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration," Ali said in a short statement. "My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones."

Frazier died at 67 after a brief battle with liver cancer. He and Ali will be linked forever, both heavyweight champions and bitter enemies in the boxing ring who squared off in three epic fights from 1971-75.

Frazier won the first one at Madison Square Garden in the Fight of the Century. Ali took the last two, cementing his legend as The Greatest.

Outside the ring, Ali called Frazier a gorilla and mocked him as an Uncle Tom. Between the ropes, they nearly fought to the death in the Thrilla in Manila.

Those became the most poignant and defining moments of Frazier's fantastic career. But he also was the only American fighter to win a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. He was the heavyweight champ from February 1970 to January 1973, an era when that crown truly meant something. He was beloved as an adopted son of Philadelphia, embodying the city's blue-collar grit.

And when the last round of his final fight ended Monday night, reaction to Frazier's death poured in from every corner of the sports world.

"Good night Joe Frazier. I love you dear friend," former heavyweight champion George Foreman, who stopped Frazier to win the title, posted to his Twitter account.

WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao said boxing lost "a great champion" and "a great ambassador."

And it wasn't only other boxers who were touched by Frazier. Tennis star Serena Williams called him an icon and a pioneer.

"Inspiring and loved. Your presence will be missed," she tweeted.

Don King, who promoted the steamy fight in the Philippines that became known as the Thrilla in Manila, was described by a spokesman as too upset to talk about Frazier's death.

WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins, a fellow Philadelphia fighter, said Frazier was so big in the city that he should have his own statue, like the fictional Rocky character.

"There's no way in the world you should come to Philadelphia and not recognize who Joe Frazier is. It's the perfect time to build the biggest statue in appreciation for all the heart and love he gave to Philadelphia," Hopkins said. "It's just to say how we regret when it's not there to touch and see. We didn't realize we had a super special person amongst us that we all in a way took for granted. I said this when he was living, I say this now. That's the only thing."

Bob Arum, who once promoted Ali, said the famous bout in the Philippines was "the greatest fight in the history of boxing."

"Joe Frazier should be remembered as one of the greatest fighters of all time and a real man. He's a guy that stood up for himself. He didn't compromise and always gave 100 percent in the ring. There was never a fight in the ring where Joe didn't give 100 percent," Arum said.

Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, who hold all the major heavyweight belts, paid respect to Frazier on Tuesday.

"My brother and I are very sad about the death of Joe Frazier," said Vitali Klitschko, the elder of the two brothers and the WBC champion. "He was one of the really great heavyweights. He was a great champion and Joe did a lot for the sport of boxing through his social engagements."

Wladimir Klitschko is the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion.

Former German heavyweight Axel Schulz also praised Frazier.

"He marked the gigantic era of heavyweight in the 1970s. The news made me incredibly sad," Schulz told the German news agency dapd. "I was shocked by how fast it all went."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press


 Muhammad Ali To Attend Joe Frazier's Funeral
Smokin' Joe Was The First Man To Beat Ali
By Lauren DiSanto
|  Thursday, Nov 10, 2011  |  Updated 9:32 PM EST

Muhammad Ali is heading to Philadelphia for the funeral of Joe Frazier.

A spokesperson, handling funeral details for the Frazier family, tells NBC10 that Ali will arrive in Philadelphia on Sunday, and will attend Monday's services.

Frazier was the first man to beat Muhammad Ali, knocking him down and taking a decision in the so-called Fight of the Century in 1971. He would go on to lose two more fights to Ali.

Smokin' Joe's body will be lying in state at the Wells Fargo Center Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"This will be an opportunity for his many fans, supporters and boxing lovers from around the world to pay their final respects to Joe Frazier," his family said in a release.

Frazier's funeral will be a closed casket ceremony Monday at the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church on Cheltenham Avenue. Guests can pay tribute to Frazier from 9 to 11 a.m. and the service will begin at 11, family said.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Frazier's name to the American Cancer Society:

Checks payable to ACS, Inc.
8400 Silver Crossing
Oklahoma City, OK, 73132

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