As we prepare for the huge re-launch of BunchOfJerks.com, we received the news that legendary boxer "Smokin" Joe Frazier has passed away and wanted to take the time to report on it.
Joe Frazier was a "main eventer" and former World Champion in the golden age of boxing. Back when boxing was colorful, exciting, and full of characters. Of course Joe's most memorable feud inside the ring and out was with Muhammad Ali. Just like old school wrestling, the promos really sold their fights and developed a story of the arrogant big mouth "bad guy" Ali vs. the common man's hero Joe Frazier. Frazier won their first fight by decision, but lost the 2 following matches with Ali. Frazier also went undefeated through his world title reign before losing the title to George Foreman in 1973.
Frazier is also remembered for his cameo appearance in "Rocky," shaking hands with Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa before their title fight and being acknowledged as a former world champ. Frazier was a real life "Rocky" in many ways, being he was from Philadelphia and fought his way up the ranks to become World Champion against all odds.
I've enjoyed the many documentaries that Frazier has been featured in over the years, whether they were about his feud with Ali or the era of boxing in general, there was a magic in boxing at that time that is long gone. Just over a month ago I read about Frazier being diagnosed with liver cancer and eventually being under hospice care. It always sucks to hear that a legend has passed, but the magic from Smokin Joe Frazier's era will always be remembered because boxing will never be like that again. Here is an awesome video tribute to Joe, and set to what better music than a classic Rocky theme song: