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Joe Frazier Dead at 67

by Photo of Andrew Lontos

The former Heavyweight Champion of the World died Monday night of liver cancer.

Joe Frazier Dead at 67

ESPN:

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.

Frazier, who took on Ali in three momentous fights in the 1970s -- including the epic "Thrilla in Manila" -- 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.

The statement released by Frazier's family said this:

"We The Family of ... Smokin' Joe Frazier, regret to inform you of his passing," the statement said. "He transitioned from this life as 'One of God's Men,' on the eve of November 7, 2011 at his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."

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Comments (1)
  1. Norris Keene Jr's profile

    Norris Keene Jr

    November 8th, 2011 @10:53

    it is a shame to see the greatest legends in sports die. There aren't too many people today who have true talent and skill in boxing like Frazier. He will be missed.

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