PFB Tribute to Smokin’ Joe Frazier

Posted on November 7, 2011

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RIP ‘Smokin Joe’ Frazier

By Jeremy Sickel

Boxing legend Joe Frazier has passed away at the age of 67 after a bout with liver cancer. The disease was only discovered a few weeks ago, far too late for him to battle back from. The family released a statement with the saddening news, thanking everyone for their support and asking the courtesy for the family the ability to grieve privately until they make a formal announcement of the plans.

Unfortunately I only remember Frazier for what he meant to the sport of boxing and what is clear is that, not only did the sport thrive because of him, but Muhammad Ali’s legacy was in large part defined by his rivalry with Frazier; a fuel that Ali used to motivate himself. We would not know Ali as the legend he is if it weren’t for those two feeding off of each other’s energy. The healthy competition allowed both athletes to blossom and become men revered not only for their abilities in the ring, but their character outside it as well.

As a casual fan of boxing I am knowledgeable enough to understand the impact that Frazier had on the sport. Hearing of this news now, and witnessing the outpouring of love that he is receiving from generations of fans who never saw him fight a round, gives me a glimpse of how much Frazier, the man, meant to his family, friends, and fans. RIP ‘Smokin Joe’.

Contact Jeremy at jeremy@popflyboys.com and follow him on Twitter @kcpopflyboy