Joe DID. Smoking Joe Frazier was exactly that. He was an Icon in Boxing. He transcended Boxing in the 60s and 70s to become a national Hero. He won the Middle Atlantic Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championships in 1962, 1963 and 1964, then went on to become the USA's only recipient of a 1964 Olympic Boxing Gold Medal. Then in 1967, Muhammad Ali was stripped of his World Heavyweight Title due to his refusal to be drafted during the Vietnam War, the New York State Athletic Commission held a bout between Frazier and Buster Mathis, with the Winner to be recognized as "World Champion" by the state of New York. The rest, as they say, is History.
Joe passed away last night from Liver Cancer at the age of 67. He was diagnosed less than six weeks ago and spent his final days in a Philadelphia-area hospice where he refused to have Visitors. His family released the following Statement
"We The Family of the 1964 Olympic Boxing Heavyweight Gold Medalist, Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion and International Boxing Hall of Fame Member Smokin' Joe Frazier, regrets to inform you of his passing. He transitioned from this life as "One of God's Men," on the eve of November 7, 2011 at his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We thank you for your prayers for our Father and vast outpouring of love and support.God speed Joe. And of course, to the Family, our heart and Prayers are with you. May you have the Peace and Comfort you need in this time.
Respectfully, we request time to grieve privately as a family. Our father's home going celebration will be announced as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding."