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Former US heavyweight champion Joe Frazier dies of cancer

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2011-11-08

Former boxing heavyweight champion died Monday of liver cancer at the age of 67, according to his personal manager. He was the first boxer to beat rival Mohammad Ali and won the heavyweight gold medal in the 1964 Olympics.

AFP - Joe Frazier, who battled Muhammad Ali in a famed 1970s boxing trilogy, has died after a battle with liver cancer, his family said Monday. He was 67.

The family issued a news release confirming the boxer's death on Monday night.

Frazier took on Ali in three dynamic fights in the 1970s, including the epic "Thrilla in Manila".

He had been under home care after being diagnosed a couple of weeks ago with the advanced liver cancer that took his life, a family friend said.

Frazier was the first man to defeat the legendary Ali, with a unanimous 15-round decision over Ali in 1971 at Madison Square Garden in what was dubbed the "Fight of the Century".

Ali won a unanimous 12-round decision in a 1974 rematch and famously completed the trilogy with a victory in 1975 at the "Thrilla in Manila" by stopping Frazier after 14 rounds in their epic slugfest in the Philippines.

A year later "Smokin' Joe" lost for the fourth and final time in his career when George Foreman knocked him down twice before the fight was stopped in the fifth round.

Frazier won the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association heavyweight titles in February 1970 by stopping Jimmy Ellis in the fifth round of their fight at Madison Square Garden.

He defended the title four times before running into the bigger and stronger Foreman in their first fight in 1973.

Frazier began his career with 29 consecutive wins before suffering his first loss, and losing his heavyweight title, when he was knocked down six times in two rounds by Foreman in 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica.

He retired following the second Foreman fight in 1976 but returned for one more bout in 1981 at age 37.

In recent years, Frazier had turned to singing, forming a back-up group called the Knockouts.

 

Date created : 2011-11-08

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