Three of the sport's greatest legends — Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Muhammad Ali — gathered for this undated photo.
Joe Frazier: 1944-2011
"Smokin'" Joe Frazier, a Hall of Fame heavyweight who became first a world champion and then a legend with two classic fights vs. Muhammad Ali, died on Nov. 7, 2011 after a bout with liver cancer. Here are some of his greatest moments in and out of the ring.
Joe Frazier lands a ferocious left hook that sends Muhammad Ali to the canvas in the 15th round of their first fight — on March 8, 1971 at Madison Square Garden. Ali got up at the count of four, but Frazier won a 15-round decision to retain the heavyweight title. The bout marked the first time two undefeated heavyweight champions ever fought for the title — in this case Ali was an ex-champ, having been stripped of his title for refusing to be drafted into the military.
Bloodied but victorious
Referee Arthur Mercante directs Frazier to a neutral corner as a dazed Ali gathers his wits following that 15th-round knockdown on March 8, 1971. Frazier paid a price, as well, taking quite a beating himself in this first of three legendary wars with Ali.
Frazier gets tagged by Ali in their rematch, also at Madison Square Garden, on Jan. 28, 1974. Ali won this bout on a 12-round unanimous decision, but there was no title on the line — Frazier having lost his crown to George Foreman a year earlier.
Contrast in styles
The vastly different styles of Frazier (right) and Ali are on display in this moment from their second fight. Where Ali famously floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee, Frazier was a straight-ahead bull, a counter-puncher who often took a blow in order to set himself up to deliver a harder one.
In one of the legendary heavyweight bouts of all time, Frazier and Ali duke it out in the sweltering heat of Manila, the Philippines, in their third fight, on Oct. 1, 1975. It was the "Thrilla in Manila," and Ali took the pair's rubber match — retaining his title when Frazier's cornermen refused to allow their exhausted warrior to answer the bell for the 15th round.
After losing his title to George Foreman in two brutal rounds on Jan. 22, 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica, Frazier (left) shaved his head for this rematch at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., on June 15, 1976. But Foreman won this one as well, stopping Frazier in the fifth round.
Foreman catches Frazier flush on the forehead in that fifth and final round on June 16, 1976. Frazier retired after the loss, but did come out of retirement to fight Floyd Cummings in 1981 — a draw that marked Frazier's final bout.
Roasting Don King
Joe Frazier was among those who attended the 2005 roast of boxing promoter Don King at the Friars Club in New York.
In April 2009, Joe Frazier joins Mike Tyson in New York for the screening of "Tyson."