Joe Frazier (Joseph William Frazier)

Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier

Hall of Fame Professional Boxer. Olympic Gold Medalist. World Heavyweight Champion (1970 until 1973). Regarded by may as being one of the greatest fighters of his era, he is famed for his epic bouts against Muhammad Ali, notably the contest referred to as the “Thrilla in Manila”. The son of a sharecropper, he was raised in Philadelphia, where he worked in a slaughterhouse by day, and prepared for a brilliant career as a boxer at night. After failing to secure a spot on the 1964 US Olympic Boxing Team, fate intervened as Buster Mathis (highly-regarded US boxer) sustained a thumb injury, therefore allowing Frazier to enter as a replacement. He seized the opportunity by topping his weight class (heavyweight), as he took home the gold medal from the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo. This paved the way in launching his professional career. After turning pro in 1965, he earned the title of Ring Magazine’s Fighter of the Year (1967, receiving that distinction two-more times during his career1970 and 1971) and defeated Buster Mathis to receive New York’s recognition as world champion in 1968. Frazier, (who possessed perhaps one of the best left-hooks in boxing history) floored opponents on his way to the top of the heavyweight division. Following a series of wins over top contenders Oscar Bonavena (1968), Jerry Quarry (1969, Ring Magazine Fight of the Year), Jimmy Ellis (1970, in which he secured the WBC Heavyweight Crown) and Bob Foster (1970), he met and defeated Muhammad Ali with a 15-round unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden, earning Frazier his 27th consecutive victory. After two title defenses from lesser opponents, nothing would prepare him for his bout against the hard-hitting George Foreman. In Kingston, Jamaica, on January 22nd, 1973, Frazier was overwhelmed by Foreman’s power and fell to defeat in a 2nd-round knockout loss. Howard Cosell, who called the action in the contest, coined his line “Down goes Frazier”.
Following a unanimous 12-round loss decision in a rematch with Ali (1974), and two rematch wins over Quarry and Ellis, a third and final bout with Ali would take place on October 1st, 1975. The “Thrilla of Manilla” saw possibly two of the greatest men to enter the ring go at it until Frazier could give no more by the 14th-round. A second loss to George Foreman in 1976 resulted in Frazier’s retirement. With the exception of one comeback bout in 1981, he focused on business endeavors, including his Philadelphia gym where he was often seen training up-and-coming boxers. He amassed a 32 win (27 knockout), 4 loss, 1 drawn record and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame

Frazier was diagnosed with liver cancer in late September 2011. Within a few weeks, the cancer had metastasized. By November 2011, he was under hospice care, where he died on November 7. Upon hearing of Frazier’s death, Muhammad Ali said, “The world has lost a great champion. I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration.” Frazier’s private funeral took place on November 14 at the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia and in addition to friends and family was attended by Muhammad Ali, Don King, Larry Holmes, Magic Johnson, Dennis Rodman, among others. He was later buried at the Ivy Hill Cemetery, a short drive from the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church



  • January, 12, 1944
  • Beaufort ,South Carolina


  • November, 07, 2011
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cause of Death

  • died of complications liver cancer


  • Ivy Hill Cemetery
  • Philadelphia,Pennsylvania

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