Joe Frazier, one of boxing’s best known figures and a former world and Olympic heavyweight champion, has died at the age of 67.
The American was diagnosed with liver cancer a month ago.
He became part of boxing folklore in the 1970s with three epic fights against Muhammad Ali, among the most famous in the sport’s history. Frazier was the first boxer to beat Ali, winning one of the contests.
Their final bout in 1975 was known as “The Thrilla in Manila” and saw both boxers punish each other for 14 rounds before Frazier’s trainer stopped the fight, handing Ali victory on a technical knockout. What Frazier’s corner was unaware of at the time was that Ali had asked his own trainer to cut off his gloves and end the fight, such was the beating he had received from the tireless Frazier.
‘Smokin’ Joe’ was never embraced as the national icon that Ali was, and lost most of his money in retirement.
He continued to train young fighters in a poor area of Philadelphia.