Formidable Ali-rival Joe Frazier loses fight with cancer

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Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in action
New York, Nov 8: Joe Frazier, 67, a former formidable figure of heavyweight championship, died on Monday, Nov 7.  Frazier was suffering from liver cancer and had entered hospice care, said his business representative, Leslie Wolff.

Frazier also known as Smokin' Joe, had a successful career lasted from 1965 to 1976, with a brief comeback in 1981. Muhammad Ali and Frazier maintained an epic rivalry in the boxing history. Besides the furious matches in boxing ring, they confronted intense personal fights out of the ring as well.

Frazier, with his crouching and relentless attack, made his opponents suffocate inside the ring, by sharp jabs and fierce body blows. As his head held low and bobbing, weaving, broad shoulders hunched, he jumped upon his opponents knocking them to ground with a famous punch left hook, that accounted most of his knockouts. 

The former Olympic champion had won 32 fights in all, 27 by stunning knockouts and losing four, twice to Ali and twice to George Foreman, in 1975 and 1973 respectively. He retired in 1981 not before boxing once. The International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) rates Frazier amongst the ten greatest heavyweights of all time

Frazier had an immense hatred for Ali. The latter once taunted him as a black man in the guise of a Great White Hope. An Ali-Frazier fight was the most anticipated face-off in heavyweight championships.

Ali's arch-rivalry made cameo roles in many Hollywood movies and two episodes of The Simpsons, after retiring from boxing. Frazier trained boxing to his son, Marvis. However, his boxing career was not as successful as his father's.

Frazier also trained budding boxers at his gym in Philadelphia. Even after his retirement from boxing, he owed enmity to Ali, as they both mounted out insults to each other in many occasions, often.

In Late Sept, 2011 Frazier was diagnosed with liver cancer, on Nov 7, 2011 he breathed his last losing fight to the Big C, at hospice care. Thus ended a significant chapter in history of heavyweight championship boxing.

OneIndia News

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