"Man, I hit Ali with punches that'd bring down the walls of a city - lawdy, lawdy, he's a great champion."
When John Douglas, the 9th
Marquess of Queensbury publicly endorsed the new code for boxing in 1867 (originally written by a sportsman named John Graham Chambers), little would he have known of the impact this ‘code of conduct’ would have on the fledgling sport.
Fast forward 100 years or so and one of the most compelling trilogies in the sports history would start to unfold. The Ali v Frazier bouts to this day are quite rightly regarded as the benchmark for all fighters of all weight classes.
"I hit him with body shots that would have brought down cities." --Muhammad Ali, on the power of the punches Ali threw at Frazier
Ali’s story has been told many times over but the man called ‘Smokin Joe’ was always a harder target to pin down. Sure, he may not have had the electric charisma of Ali or the fleet-footed guile of Sugar Ray Robinson but Frazier’s all action style and relentless pursuit of the knockout made him an instant hit with fans and boxing connoisseurs alike. He was that rare breed of sportsman - a legend in his own lifetime. He will be missed.
Frazier was inducted into boxing's International Hall of Fame in 1990. His autobiography, Smokin' Joe, was published in 1996.
Frazier was divorced from his wife, Florence. He is survived by his partner of 40 years, Denise Menz, and by 11 children.