He was one of the greatest boxers that ever stepped into a ring, but even though Joe Frazier had not risen to the cultural pre-eminence of Muhammad Ali, he would go on to demand the respect and admiration of peers in the boxing world.
Known as “Smokin' Joe Frazier," the South Carolina native would be best-known for the "Thriller in Manila", the third and final magnificent encounter between him and Ali.
After 14 brutal blow-for-blow rounds that rival the stuff of gladiators, the “never say quit” Fraizer was asked to sit down.
Frazier was the first fighter to have defeated the precocious Ali, and established himself as a force to be reckoned with during the pair’s first encounter during 1971.
The 1971 bout is also considered by sports enthusiasts as one of the most epic battles that was ever waged. Frazier went on to win by unanimous decision.
Ali had gotten the best of Frazier leading up to the battle with taunts and provocative language. The antics would become part of the Ali mystique, which was expected behavior for most of Ali’s bouts.
Following the news of Frazier’s death, Ali issued a statement which said, the “world has lost a great champion.” Joe Frazier was 67.