Joe Frazier Passes Away At 67

FILE: American boxer Joe Frazier in training before a world title fight. It was reported that former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier has died after being diagnosed with liver cancer November 7, 2011. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Joe Frazier, the Hall of Fame boxer, has passed away. The first man to defeat Muhammad Ali entered hospice care over the weekend after a short battle with liver cancer.

Joe Frazier, one of the best boxers of his generation, lost his battle with liver cancer Monday evening. He entered hospice care over the weekend and lived to be 67 years old. "Smokin' Joe" will forever be known as the first man to defeat Muhammad Ali. 

Frazier began his boxing career by winning a gold medal for the United States at the 1964 Olympics over Germany's Hans Huber. He turned professional following the victory and would go on to win the first 24 fights of his pro career before earning the vacant WBC and WBA world titles in a match against Jimmy Ellis in 1970.



On Aug. 3, 1971, Frazier became the first man to defeat Ali in what became known as the "Fight of the Century." It was Frazier's 27th victory, and a well-earned one at that, as the fight went all 15 rounds before Smokin' Joe won via unanimous decision.

The first loss of Frazier's career was also the first time he fought professionally outside of the United States, as he fell to to George Foreman in Jamaica on Jan. 22, 1973. The heavyweight great would never earn another title as he would fight just six more times before retiring in 1976, losing twice to Ali and once more to Foreman before making a one-fight comeback in 1981 while earning a draw with Floyd Jennings.

Frazier, a member of the  International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame, was originally diagnosed with liver cancer in September.

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