Former Olympic and undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier is severely ill with liver cancer. He is in a very painful and serious situation, his manager Leslie Wolff announced Saturday.
We're looking for some miracles, Wolff told The Philadelphia Inquirer. When you're dealing with the Big C, it's not an easy thing to deal with.
Smokin' Joe, 67, was diagnosed a month ago and is currently being given hospice care in Philadelphia.
He's under medical care, getting his treatments that hopefully will help, Wolff told the Inquirer. It's extremely serious. I'm asking everyone to pray for him.
Frazier won the 1964 Olympic heavyweight boxing gold medal for the United States. During his professional career from 1965 to 1976 and in 1981, Frazier had a record of 32 wins, 4 losses, and 1 draw. From 1970 to 1973, he held the world heavyweight boxing title. Frazier boxed against Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, and Jerry Quarry.
He didn't have an ego, he didn't think he was better than anyone else, Wolff told the Inquirer. He just thought he worked hard, and in my mind he's one of the finest role models I had ever seen.
Frazier may be best known for his challenge against Ali in 1971 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The boxing match was called the Fight of the Century.
The Vietnam War stopped for several hours, so the military could listen, Wolff said. Troubles between the Protestants and Catholics in Belfast stopped, so the Irish could see it. This man is an important figure in history.
He lost the heavyweight title two years later when he was knocked out by Foreman.
In 1975, Frazier had his last world title challenge, but was beaten by Ali. He retired in 1976 after a second loss to Foreman. Following a brief comeback in 1981, he retired for good.
Joe is a fighter. Joe doesn't give up, Wolff told Reuters.