Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Joe Frazier 1944-2011

"Ali always said I would be nothing without him. But who would he have been without me?
-Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier had the misfortune of being a great boxer during the same time period as Muhammad Ali. He was a 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist and the undisputed Heavyweight Champion from 1971 to 1975. In his career he won 32 fights (27 by knock out) and lost 4 (twice to both Muhammad Ali and George Foreman). Below is video of the last round of the first of three championship fights between Ali and Frazier in which Frazier stunned the world by knocking Ali down and winning the fight. Ali made the mistake of calling Frazier ignorant, a gorilla, and a white man's lackey, which fueled Frazier desire to beat him.

Joe Frazier died yesterday of liver cancer and in the NY Times obituary Frazier's name in mentioned 78 times while Muhammad Ali's name is mentioned 62 times. Joe Frazier may have been right when he asked who Ali would have been without him. Their names will always be linked together as Frazier was the man who proved to the boxing world that Ali was not invincible.

You can find Frazier's NY Times obituary here.

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