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Home Sports Originally published November 14, 2011

Private Funeral Today for Boxing Legend ‘Smokin' Joe Frazier

by Associated Press

    Former boxing great Muhammad Ali arrives for a memorial service for former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier at the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Boxing greats are set to pay their respects to former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier at a private funeral in Philadelphia.

The 67-year-old Frazier died last week after a short battle with liver cancer. A two-day public viewing was held at the Wells Fargo Center at the sports complex in South Philadelphia. His funeral is Monday.

Fellow former champions Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson are expected to attend. Frazier and Ali squared off in a trio of legendary fights, including the Thrilla in Manila in 1975.

Ali won that epic contest, calling it the "closest thing to dying that I know of."

Four years earlier at Madison Square Garden, "Smokin' Joe" successfully defended his title and became the first man to defeat Ali.

Frazier was elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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