One of my heros growing up was former Heavyweight Champion Smoking Joe Frazier, who fought Muhammad Ali in what could be considered the most contentious series of fights between 2 fighters ever. Both were great champions with contrasting styles.

Frazier won the first fight, knocking down Ali in the 15th round. It was only the 3rd time Ali hit the canvas. Frazier defended his title. Ali won the next 2 fights by decision. It has been said by many boxing experts that Ali and Frazier were not the same boxers after their first fight.

Ali and Frazier had contrasting styles. Ali was the ultimate boxer with small but quick hands and feet. Frazier was the fighter with a powerful and feared left hook. While Ali was a braggart, Frazier was a fighter with an unbelieveable display of sportsmanship.

In a fight against Joe Bugner, Frazier landed a vicious left hook to Bugner knocking Bugner to one knee. The referree did not get in between Frazier and Bugner. Frazier could have hit Bugner again, but he withheld any further punches looking to referree to give Bugner a standing 8 count. Bugner recovered briefly, making it a fight, but Joe won a unamious decision in 12 rounds.

Frazier was a legend in Philadelphia. He ran his gym. Helped train fighters and kids from the neighborhood of North Philadelphia near Temple University. He had his singing group Joe Frazier and the Knockouts. Joe lived on past his boxing days.

Joe Frazier lost his brief battle with liver cancer on November 7, 2011. He was one of the great champions of boxing. The world lost a great individual.