Tuesday, November 8, 2011

R.I.P Smokin' Joe

Former Heavyweight Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Smokin' Joe Frazier passed away last night. He was a Philadelphia icon and he will be missed by all of Philadelphia and beyond.

Don King, the Thrilla in Manila promoter, put out a moving statement this morning:

"Frazier was "the embodiment of what a great heavyweight champion and person should be. Not only was he a great fighter but also a great man. He lived as he fought with courage and commitment at a time when African-Americans in all spheres of life were engaged in a struggle for emancipation and respect," King said of Frazier. "Smokin' Joe brought honor, dignity and pride for his people, the AMERICAN people, and brought the nation together as only sports can do.""

George Forman tweeted this: "Good night Joe Frazier. I love you dear friend."

Philadelphia's fictional boxer, Rocky Balboa, was totally based on Smokin' Joe, right down to the slaughterhouse slabs of meat that Rocky worked out on as Joe worked in such a shop back in the day.

Joe's Olympic Gold medal was chopped into 11 pieces by a jeweler so he could give a piece to each one of his children. All 11 of them.

Ali-Frazier-Forman formed a triumvirate of Boxing Glory that encompassed a Golden Age that America or the sport will likely never see again.

Philly Daily News Article

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