Boxing legend, Smokin' Joe Frazier, has died
Frazier, the youngest of twelve children, turned pro in 1965 at the age of 21. Three years later he had a 21-0 record.
The bitter word battle between Frazier and the also unbeaten Muhammad Ali (formerly Cassius Clay) came to a head in March of 1971 when the ferocious competitors battered each other for 15 rounds. It was a celebrity-drenched spectacle. Frank Sinatra took photos for Life magazine. Vice President Hubert Humphrey sat near Irish firebrand Bernadette Devlin. In a unanimous decision, Frazier became the heavyweight champ after knocking Ali down.
The rivalry remained heated for many years, fueled by Ali's racially-charged taunts. But as Ali grew ever frailer with Parkinson's and the 30th anniversary of the Bout of the Century approached, both fighters mellowed.
Frazier, who was just 67, learned he had liver cancer just a month ago.