Boxing

Reaction to Joe Frazier's death

Image: Boxer Bernard Hopkins
Bernard Hopkins said Frazier's words have helped inspire him to continue boxing.
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Reaction to the death Monday of former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier at the age of 67:

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SSSSSMOKIN'

Joe Frazier may not have reached the status of contemporaries like Muhammad Ali, but he put a hurt on the world's best in a career full of highlights.

''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.''

— Muhammad Ali, who had three memorable fights against Frazier

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''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 Manilla 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.''

— promoter Bob Arum on Frazier and his fights with Muhammad Ali

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KRIEGEL: FINDING PEACE

Joe Frazier's life became marked by a hatred for Muhammad Ali. Hopefully in death he finds peace and liberation, Mark Kriegel says.

''About two or three years ago, everybody is asking me why I was fighting. Joe Frazier said you fight as long as you feel you can do it and win with dignity. That was in Joe Hand's Gym while I was in Philly. I told him I could and that I was in great shape. He walked out of the place. I remember that. Those few minutes were like an hour. You've got to listen to him and listen to him clearly.''

— WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins

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''Good night Joe Frazier. I love you dear friend.''

— former heavyweight champion George Foreman, posted to his Twitter account

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''Boxing lost a great champion, and the sport lost a great ambassador.''

— boxer Manny Pacquiao

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''RIP to the great champ and 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist ''Smokin'' Joe Frazier. You will be missed.''

— USA Boxing, posted to its Twitter account

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''Joe Frazier you were a icon and pioneer for people like me. Inspiring and loved. Your presence will be missed.''

— tennis star Serena Williams, posted to her Twitter account

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"My Condolences go out to the family of the late great Joe Frazier. #TheMoneyTeam will pay for his Funeral services."

— Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., posted to his Twitter account

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"R.I.P Joe Frazier! Heavyweight Great!! One of the best!"

— NBA star LeBron James, posted to his Twitter account

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"Another legend lost R I P to the great joe Frazier, peace brother you will be missed."

— NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, posted to his Twitter account

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"RIP Joe Frazier....a legendary boxer has left us....made Philly proud! Glad I was able to shake your hand an meet ya legend!"

— Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino, posted to his Twitter account

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''Joe Frazier should be remembered as one of the greatest fighters of all time and a real man. He's a guy that stood up for himself. He didn't compromise and always gave 100 percent in the ring. There was never a fight in the ring where Joe didn't give 100 percent.''

— Arum

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''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.''

— Hopkins


NewsCore contributed to this report.

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