Monday, November 7, 2011
Updated: November 8, 4:25 PM ET
Remembering Joe Frazier
ESPN.com news services
Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier died Monday night at the age of 67, resulting in an outpouring of thoughts and memories from around the sports world on his lasting impact:
Muhammad Ali: "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."
Broadcaster Larry Merchant: "This is a body blow to me because I knew him personally as well as professionally. I thought he was as honest and as real a fighter as there ever was. He followed in a tradition of (Jack) Dempsey and (Rocky) Marciano as the 'Warrior King.' "
Promoter Bob Arum on Frazier's fights with Muhammad Ali: "He proved himself in the first fight to be a great, great man and a great, great warrior. The third fight was the greatest fight in the history of boxing. Ever. The greatest fight ever. I still remember leaving the coliseum in Manila and going outside. The sun was so high in the sky beating down on us. It was almost eerie. It was unworldly what we had just seen. Two men fighting one of the great wars of all time. It's something I will never forget for all the years I have left."
Don King, who promoted the "Thrilla in Manila" in 1975: "Not only was he a great fighter but also a great man. He lived as he fought with courage and commitment at a time when African-Americans in all spheres of life were engaged in a struggle for emancipation and respect. Smokin' Joe brought honor, dignity and pride for his people, the AMERICAN people, and brought the nation together as only sports can do."
Bernard Hopkins: "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."
Manny Pacquiao: "Boxing lost a great champion, and the sport lost a great ambassador."
Vitali Klitschko: "My brother Wladimir and I are very sad to hear that Joe Frazier has passed away. He was one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all times. I am very proud to have the same title that Joe once had."
Lennox Lewis: "He definitely was legendary and he made a great contribution to boxing. I'm so sad for his family. Nobody likes to hear about great heroes passing on. It's very sad for boxing today."
Joe Bugner, British heavyweight who lost to both Ali and Frazier in 1973: "Joe took everything away I thought I had and made me realize I needed more, if I was going to succeed I needed a lot more."
Ed Brophy, executive director of the International Boxing Hall of Fame: "Behind one of the most devastating left hooks in history, Joe Frazier became an icon in the sport of boxing. From the Olympic gold medal to his legendary reign as world champion, Joe Frazier thrilled fans across the world. Without a doubt, boxing fans will recall his heroic efforts in the ring and continue to talk about his legendary battles for many, many years to come."
Madison Square Garden statement: "Joe Frazier has been synonymous with Madison Square Garden since the "Fight of the Century" in 1971, the most anticipated sports event of all time. Joe fought 10 times at The Garden during his storied career, and remained a friend to all at MSG to the end. A true character and gentleman, Joe will be sadly missed by everyone at Madison Square Garden."
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter: "Joe Frazier was the quintessential Philadelphia boxer. He represented the heart and soul of boxing in our great city. In the ring and in the neighborhoods, he carried himself with dignity and courage. He was a true ambassador for our city."
From verified Twitter accounts:
Good night Joe Frazier. I love you dear friend. George Foreman
Today is a sad yet remarkable day as we mourn the death of boxing legend Joe Frazier & honor him by celebrating his amazing accomplishments.
Frazier and Ali were quintessential the apex of pedigree fighting in which each man would not give an inch until they were dead.
My family and I are sending our sincerest condolences to the Joe Frazier family.
RIP Smokin Joe. My thoughts and prayers go out to to the Frazier family. We lost an all time great tonight.
My Condolences go out to the family of the late great Joe Frazier. #TheMoneyTeam will pay for his Funeral services.
Comforting that the great Joe Frazier died at home with family around. Did it the way he did everything, with guts and dignity.
Knew that Joe was dying,but still rocked. Loss of a legend & a reminder that a generation &,sadly,the importance of US HW boxing,is passing.
Joe's death is resonating around the globe with a genuine outpouring of emotion. Should be encouragement for HIS sport to raise itself up.
@usaboxing: RIP to the great champ and 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist "Smokin" Joe Frazier. You will be missed.
Joe Frazier one of the greatest heavy weight champion ever. RIP
Another legend lost R I P to the great joe Frazier, peace brother you will be missed
I will miss you my friend. R.I.P. Joe frazier
R.I.P Joe Frazier! Heavyweight Great!! One of the best! #SmokingJoe
A Philadelphia legend and a great champion he was! R.I.P. Smoking' Joe
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.