Joe Frazier Biography (Wikipedia)
Joseph William Frazier (January 12, 1944 – November 7, 2011), nicknamed "Smokin' Joe", was an American professional boxer who competed from 1965 to 1981. He reigned as the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973, and as an amateur won a gold medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics. Frazier was known for his strength, durability, formidable punching power, and relentless pressure fighting style.
Frazier emerged as the top contender in the late 1960s, defeating opponents that included Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, Buster Mathis, Eddie Machen, Doug Jones, George Chuvalo, and Jimmy Ellis en route to becoming undisputed heavyweight champion in 1970, and followed up by defeating Muhammad Ali by unanimous decision in the highly anticipated Fight of the Century in 1971. Two years later, Frazier lost his title when he was defeated by George Foreman. He fought on, beating Joe Bugner, losing a rematch to Ali and beating Quarry and Ellis again.
Frazier's last world title challenge came in 1975, but he was beaten by Ali in their brutal rubber match, the Thrilla in Manila. He retired in 1976 following a second loss to Foreman. He made a comeback in 1981, fighting just once before retiring. The International Boxing Research Organization rates Frazier among the ten greatest heavyweights of all time. The Ring magazine named him Fighter of the Year in 1967, 1970 and 1971, while the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) named him Fighter of the Year in 1969, 1971 and 1975. In 1999, The Ring magazine ranked him the eighth greatest heavyweight. BoxRec ranks him as the 18th greatest heavyweight of all time. He is an inductee of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.