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Breaking News: R.I.P Joe Frazier Dead At 67

  • Joe Frazier, the former heavyweight champion whose furious and intensely personal fights with a taunting Muhammad Ali endure as an epic rivalry in boxing history, died Monday night. He was 67.

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An Appraisal: A Champion Who Won Inside the Ring and Out (November 8, 2011)
Times Topic: Joe Frazier
His business representative, Leslie Wolff, told The Associated Press on Saturday that Frazier had liver cancer and that he had entered hospice care.

Known as Smokin’ Joe, Frazier stalked his opponents around the ring with a crouching, relentless attack — his head low and bobbing, his broad, powerful shoulders hunched — as he bore down on them with an onslaught of withering jabs and crushing body blows, setting them up for his devastating left hook.

It was an overpowering modus operandi that led to versions of the heavyweight crown from 1968 to 1973. Frazier won 32 fights in all, 27 by knockouts, losing four times — twice to Ali in furious bouts and twice to George Foreman. He also recorded one draw.

A slugger who weathered repeated blows to the head while he delivered punishment, Frazier proved a formidable figure. But his career was defined by his rivalry with Ali, who ridiculed him as a black man in the guise of a Great White Hope. Frazier detested him.

Ali vs. Frazier was a study in contrasts. Ali: tall and handsome, a wit given to spouting poetry, a magnetic figure who drew adulation and denigration alike, the one for his prowess and outsize personality, the other for his antiwar views and Black Power embrace of Islam. Frazier: a bull-like man of few words with a blue-collar image and a glowering visage who in so many ways could be on an equal footing with his rival only in the ring.

Frazier won the undisputed heavyweight title with a 15-round decision over Ali at Madison Square Garden in March 1971, in an extravaganza known as the Fight of the Century. Ali scored a 12-round decision over Frazier at the Garden in a non-title bout in January 1974. Then came the Thrilla in Manila championship bout, in October 1975, regarded as one of the greatest fights in boxing history. It ended when a battered Frazier, one eye swollen shut, did not come out to face Ali for the 15th round.

The Ali-Frazier battles played out at a time when the heavyweight boxing champion was far more celebrated than he is today, a figure who could stand alone in the spotlight a decade before an alphabet soup of boxing sanctioning bodies arose, making it difficult for the average fan to figure out just who held what title.

The rivalry was also given a political and social cast. Many viewed the Ali-Frazier matches as a snapshot of the struggles of the 1960s. Ali, an adherent of the Nation of Islam, came to represent rising black anger in America and opposition to the Vietnam War. Frazier voiced no political views, but he was nonetheless depicted, to his consternation, as the favorite of the establishment. Ali called him “ignorant,” likened him to a gorilla and said his black supporters were Uncle Toms.

“Frazier had become the white man’s fighter, Mr. Charley was rooting for Frazier, and that meant blacks were boycotting him in their heart,” Norman Mailer wrote in Life magazine following the first Ali-Frazier bout.

Frazier, wrote Mailer, was “twice as black as Clay and half as handsome,” with “the rugged decent life-worked face of a man who had labored in the pits all his life.”

Frazier could never match Ali’s charisma or his gift for the provocative quote. He was essentially a man devoted to a brutal craft, willing to give countless hours to his spartan training-camp routine and unsparing of his body inside the ring.

“The way I fight, it’s not me beatin’ the man: I make the man whip himself,” Frazier told Playboy in 1973. “Because I stay close to him. He can’t get out the way.” He added: “Before he knows it — whew! — he’s tired. And he can’t pick up his second wind because I’m right back on him again.”

In his autobiography, “Smokin’ Joe,” written with Phil Berger, Frazier said his first trainer, Yank Durham, had given him his nickname. It was, he said, “a name that had come from what Yank used to say in the dressing room before sending me out to fight: ‘Go out there, goddammit, and make smoke come from those gloves.’ “ source: NYTimes

In memory of Smokin’ Joe Frazier


Breaking News: Joe Frazier Nearly Dies…

Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier has liver cancer and is under hospice care.
The 67-year-old boxer was diagnosed four or five weeks ago and doctors have not yet told him how long he has to live.
‘We have medical experts looking into all the options that are out there,’ Frazier’s manager Leslie Wolff said. ‘There are very few. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop looking.’

‘We appreciate every prayer we can get’: Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier is receiving hospice care after being diagnosed with cancer last month
Wolff, who has been Frazier’s manager for seven years, said the boxer had been in and out of the hospital since early October and receiving hospice treatment for the last week.
‘We appreciate every prayer we can get,’ Wolff said. ‘I’ve got everybody praying for him. We”ll just keep our fingers crossed and hope for a miracle.’
Frazier was the first man to beat Muhammad Ali, knocking him down and taking a decision in the so-called Fight of the Century in 1971.

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He would go on to lose two more fights to Ali, including the epic ‘Thrilla in Manila’.
Frazier was bitter for many years about the way Ali treated him then. More recently, he said he had forgiven Ali for repeatedly taunting him.
Smokin’ Joe was a small yet ferocious fighter who smothered his opponents with punches, including a devastating left hook he used to end many of his fights early.

Fighter: Joe Frazier, left, hits Muhammad Ali during the 15th round of their heavyweight title fight at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1971
It was the left hook that dropped Ali in the 15th round of their ‘Fight of the Century’ at Madison Square Garden in 1971 to seal a win in a bout where each fighter earned an unheard of $2.5 million.
While that fight is celebrated in boxing lore, Ali and Frazier put on an even better show in their third fight, held in a sweltering arena in Manila as part of Ali’s world tour of fights in 1975.
Nearly blinded by Ali’s punches, Frazier still wanted to go out for the 15th round of the fight but was held back by trainer Eddie Futch in a bout Ali would later say was the closest thing to death he could imagine.
Frazier won the heavyweight title in 1970 by stopping Jimmy Ellis in the fifth round of their fight at Madison Square Garden.
He defended it successfully four times before George Foreman knocked him down six times in the first two rounds to take the title from him in 1973.
Frazier would never be heavyweight champion again.
In recent years, Frazier had been doing regular autograph appearances, including one in Las Vegas the weekend of a Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight in September.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2058271/Joe-Frazier-faces-toughest-fight-life-tries-beat-liver-cancer.html#ixzz1czJ3p2NP


Breaking News: Steve Jobs Dies, Was Only 56 Years Old.

 the mastermind behind ‘s iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac and iTunes, has died, Apple said. Jobs was 56.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,” read a statement by Apple’s board of directors. “Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve. His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.”

The homepage of Apple’s website this evening switched to a full-page image of Jobs with the text, “Steve Jobs 1955-2011.”

Clicking on the image revealed the additional text: “Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”

Jobs co-founded Apple Computer in 1976 and, with his childhood friend Steve Wozniak, marketed what was considered the world’s first personal computer, the Apple II.

Industry watchers called him a master innovator — perhaps on a par with Thomas Edison — changing the worlds of computing, recorded music and communications.

In 2004, he beat back an unusual form of pancreatic cancer, and in 2009 he was forced to get a liver transplant. After several years of failing health, Jobs announced on Aug. 24, 2011 that he was stepping down as Apple’s chief executive.

“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know,” Jobs wrote in his letter of resignation. “Unfortunately, that day has come.
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