ov. 8 (Bloomberg) — Joe Frazier, who used a pounding left hook to fight his way to boxing’s heavyweight title, then battled Muhammad Ali in three epic matches and in the court of public opinion, has died. He was 67.
Frazier, who was in hospice care, died last night after being diagnosed with liver cancer in October, Darren Prince, a spokesman for the Frazier family, confirmed in an e-mail.
“The world has lost a great champion,” Ali said in a statement, according to ESPN. “I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration. My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones.”
Known as “Smokin’ Joe,” Frazier won his first 29 bouts, from 1965 to 1972, and became the undisputed heavyweight champion with his Feb. 16, 1970, technical knockout of Jimmy Ellis in the fifth round at Madison Square Garden.