November 7, 2011
Former Undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champion Smokin’ Joe Frazier passed away tonight following a hard-fought bout with liver cancer. He was 67.
Best remembered for being the boxer who handed Muhammad Ali his first professional defeat in the “Fight of the Century,” Frazier and Ali would go on to tussle two more times, with Ali gaining the upper hand in both.
Of his legendary rival Ali said in the aftermath of their second fight, known as “Thrilla in Manila“: “He’s the greatest fighter of all times, next to me.”
Frazier’s family announced his death with the following statement:
“We The Family of the 1964 Olympic Boxing Heavyweight Gold Medalist, Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion and International Boxing Hall of Fame Member Smokin’ Joe Frazier, regrets to inform you of his passing. He transitioned from this life as “One of God’s Men,” on the eve of November 7, 2011at his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We thank you for your prayers for our Father and vast outpouring of love and support.
Respectfully, we request time to grieve privately as a family. Our father’s home going celebration will be announced as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding”.