Smokin' Joe Frazier Dead at 67
Boxing has lost one of the true legends of the sport.
I always had a soft spot for Joe..it must have been tough for him living in Ali's shadow. He didn't have the wit or the vocabulary to compete with Ali verbally and suffered through endless taunts and humiliating insults that were often very mean-spirited and demeaning.
He didn't possess the athleticism and dexterity of his rival, but still defeated him once and took him to the brink twice more. He also was the first man to knock Ali down, at Madison Square Garden back in 1971 when he defended his HW title and beat Muhammad by majority decision.
Joe was a straight ahead fighter with a nasty left hook who epitomized determination and tenacity. I was just watching the Thrilla In Manilla about a month ago and no matter how many times I watch that fight, I still shake my head at the guts he showed in that fight. Coming forward, again and again in the blazing heat ..bobbing, weaving, tapping his gloves together. Taking shot after shot on the way inside Ali's reach and lightning jab...like a pit bull. Getting inside and delivering his merciless body assault and forcing Ali against the ropes time and time again.
It is to this day the most glorious I have ever seen a boxer look in defeat. The fight stands as one of the greatest of all time, perhaps the greatest.
He was a warrior before the term became cliche.
The bell will toll ten in Boxing rings around the world over the next few months, as people in the sport pay tribute to Philly's most famous fighter - Smokin' Joe Frazier.
Here's the TSN article :