Joseph “Smokin Joe” Frazier (1944-2011) was a United States professional boxer celebrated for his strenght, durability and formidable punching power.
Active from 1965 to 1981, and notable for his relentless pressure fighting style, he was the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973.
As an amateur boxer, Frazier won a gold medal for the United States at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Frazier’s boxing style was characterized by bobbing, weawing and relentless pressure – behaviours that all contributed to wearing down his opponent. He had a very powerful left hook, and it brought him most of his knockout victories.
Frazier retired from boxing in 1976, returned for a single fight in 1981, and then retired for good. He was diagnosed with liver cancer in the fall of 2011 and died on November 7 that year.
Frazier came into the limelight of pro boxing during the latter half of the 1960s, winning fights against boxers such as Jerry Quarry, Dough Jones, George Chuvalo, and Oscar Bonavena.
In 1970, Frazier became the undisputed heavyweight champion. He kept the title for two years, before losing it to George Foreman.
Fight of the Century
In 1971, Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali in the highly publicized Fight of the Century at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This was the first time that two undefeated boxers fought each other for the heavyweight title. Frazier was the WBC/WBA heavyweight champion (26-0, 23 KOs) while Ali was The Ring/lineal heavyweight champion (31-0, 25 Kos).
In The Fight of the Century, Frazier won 15 rounds via unanimous decisions.
The Fight of the Century was eventually followed by Super Fight II (1974) and Thrilla in Manila (1975), where Ali defeated Frazier both times.
Short facts about Joe Frazier
Name: Joseph William Frazier
Nickname: Smokin’ Joe
Born: 12 January, 1944, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Height: 182 cm
Reach: 185 cm
Weight class: Heavyweight
Boxing stance: Orthodox
Examples of accomplishments & accolades
- Frazier did 37 boxing fights and won 32 of them (including 27 knock-out wins). He lost four fights and one fight was a draw. Two of his losses were to Muhammad Ali, the other two to George Foreman.
- He won a heavyweight boxing gold medal for the United States at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.
- The International Boxing Research Organization have Frazier on their list of the 10 greatest heavyweight boxers of all time.
- In 1999, The Ring magazine put Frazier in top-10 of best heavyweight boxers of all time.
- Frazier was named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine in 1967, 1970 and 1971, and Fighter of the Year by Boxing Writers Association of America in 1969, 1971 and 1975.
- Frazier has been inducted into World Boxing Hall of Fame and International Boxing Hall of Fame.