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 at his home in Philadelphia. He was 67.
His business representative, Leslie Wolff, said the cause was liver cancer. An announcement over the weekend that Frazier had received the diagnosis in late September and had been moved to hospice care early this month prompted an outpouring of tributes and messages of support.
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.
By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN
Published: November 7, 2011
Joe Frazier made his mark in Toobworld as well, with several appearances by his fictional televersion in various TV series and commercials:
– Astronaut Day (2001)
– Safari Day (2001)
'A Whole New Ballgame'
– Brett's Beef (1995)
– Frank Returns (1987)
– You'll Never Get Rich (1985)
TV commercial for RaGu (2004)
TV commercial: Lite Beer From Miller (late 70s)
TV commercial for Vitalis with Muhammad Ali (1971)
1971: TV commercial for Muriel Cigars with Edie Adams
And in the Tooniverse:
- Homer's Paternity Coot (2006)
– Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes? (1992)
There's certainly enough there for entry into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.
It's been a recent change in the rules for the Hall of Fame that when such a member in the League of Themselves passes away, he - or she - should gain immediate entry into the Hall. Too often in the past, your lowly Toobmeister would forget to eventually induct these worthy candidates and then never remember who was eligible.
But I also thought that Joe Frazier would be a wonderful addition to kick off Black History Month as well. I'm writing this up in November, a few days after his death, but it's being published today.
So here's a little something in which Mr. Frazier has beaten Muhammed Ali - he is in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame and Ali is not... yet.
Welcome, Smokin' Joe!