Boxing legend Joe Frazier has died at the age of 67. He had been diagnosed with liver cancer within the last couple of months, and it was reported last week that he was seriously ill.
Frazier is famous as the first person to defeat Mohammad Ali in a professional fight. The pair fought three times in the 70s, including the famous ‘Thrilla in Manila’ bout. It’s common for people to say that Frazier never really emerged from Ali’s shadow, but perhaps that merely indicates the extent to which Ali ballooned beyond boxing to become an international phenomenon, while Frazier remained very much a boxer first and foremost.
Away from Ali, Frazier had secured the heavyweight title in 1970 by stopping Jimmy Ellis in the fifth round and defended that title four times before eventually being beaten by George Foreman in 1973. Frazier would never regain the heavyweight title, but his most famous fights – against Ali – were still to come. Up until the past month or so, he remained an active public figure, making personal appearances all over the world.