The death of Joe Frazier at 67 of liver cancer us, of course, sad.
Some of you will be asking why we are mentioning it on the site but for us the 3 classic Ali/Frazier are iconic pop culture moments.
Of course it is down to Ali that they have this pop culture relevance. Ali was hip, young, sexy and dangerous an out of control renegade who had charmed the world with his chat show appearances.
the three classic fights defined their time and someone had to be the adversary, poor old Joe walked into a barrage of Ali rhetoric as the ailing champ knew he was best his best and played the psycholigical card. Ali’s constant baiting of Frazier caused an extra friction between the two men and the three fights defined the time.
It was boxing as pop culture. The boxers were superstars defining their time and boxing was at a high water mark. their fights were real events. The stuff of playground dreams. The drama and the excitement defined boxing in the modern age. A pesk that boxing has never reached since then.
Frazier had emerged as the top contender in boxing the late 1960s, defeating the likes of Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, Buster Mathis, Eddie Machen, Doug Jones, George Chuvalo and Jimmy Ellis en route to becoming undisputed heavyweight champion in 1970.
This put him in line for the Ali fight he defeated Muhammad Ali on points in the highly-anticipated “Fight of the Century” in 1971. For once the event justified the hype.
Two years later Frazier lost his title when he was knocked out by George Foreman. He fought on, beating Joe Bugner, losing a rematch to Ali, and beating Quarry and Ellis again.
Frazier’s last world title challenge came in 1975, but he was beaten by Ali in their brutal rubbermatch.