Throughout their boxing career, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier had a heated and violent rivalry. In the ring they gave everything they had to hurt one another, and outside of the ring they constantly insulted each other. Ali called Joe ugly, a gorilla, and an uncle Tom. But Ali only has kind words for Joe Frazier now that his formal rival has rival passed away.
“The world has lost a great champion. I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration. My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones.”
Ali, of course, was not the only boxer to fight Frasier in the ring. ESPN reports that George Foreman ended Frasier’s reign as Heavyweight champion in 1973. Foreman tweeted:
“Good night Joe Frazier. I love you dear friend.”
Modern boxers like Manny Pacquiao also sent their respects to the former champ last night. Pacquiao said:
“Boxing lost a great champion, and the sport lost a great ambassador.”
Bernard Hopkins, a fighter from Philadelphia, said that the city should pay homage to their greatest champion now that he’s gone.
“There’s no way in the world you should come to Philadelphia and not recognize who Joe Frazier is. It’s the perfect time to build the biggest statue in appreciation for all the heart and love he gave to Philadelphia. It’s just to say how we regret when it’s not there to touch and see. We didn’t realize we had a super special person amongst us that we all in a way took for granted. I said this when he was living, I say this now. That’s the only thing.”
Bob Arum, a boxing promoter who once worked with Ali, said:
“Joe Frazier should be remembered as one of the greatest fighters of all time and a real man. He’s a guy that stood up for himself. He didn’t compromise and always gave 100 percent in the ring. There was never a fight in the ring where Joe didn’t give 100 percent.”
The Washington Post reports that Don King, who promoted the “Thrilla in Manilla,” legendary fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, was to upset to comment on Frasier’s death.
Here’s a look at some highlights from Joe Frazier’s career.
How will you remember Joe Frazier?