Home News Afro Briefs Originally published November 05, 2011

Report: “Smokin Joe” Frazier in Last Round of Fight With Cancer—Friends Requesting Prayers

by AFRO Staff

    "Smokin Joe" Frazier in a historic fight against Muhammad Ali. (Courtesy Photo)
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Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier is reportedly deathly ill and entering the final stages of his battle with liver cancer, according to reports.

“He’s in serious shape, we’re looking for a miracle,’’ a source close to Frazier, 67, told The New York Post. “They’re only giving him a short time to live. We need to have as many people as possible praying for Joe right now.”

“Smokin Joe” is best remembered for his legendary bouts with Muhammad Ali, including the “Thrilla in Manila,” one of the greatest fights in history. Ali taunted Frazier publicly leading up to the fight, calling him a “gorilla” and telling him, “Joe, they told me you was all washed up.”

Frazier responded with a classic retort, “They told you wrong, pretty boy.”

Frazier earned a reputation as a gentleman inside the ring and out, and became an ambassador for the sport.

“Joe is one of the sweetest guys you could ever meet,’’ a friend told The Post. “Sometimes we’d be driving down the highway and see a car broken down and we would have to go out and help somebody. That’s Joe Frazier.’’

Click on the thumbnails below to view the March 9, 1971 Baltimore Afro-American's coverage of Joe Frazier's win over Muhammed Ali.

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