Smokin' Joe Frazier Dies at 67

One of the greatest in boxing history, Joe Frazier, has died after a brief bout with liver cancer.

Frazier was the first boxer to knock out another boxing great, Muhammad Ali. The two fought tirelessly, and toe-to-toe in 1971 at New York City's famed Madison Square Garden. But it would be infamous fight between the two champs in the Phillipines at the epic 'Thrilla In Manilla' that would design and cement the legacy of the two monumental boxers.

The two boxing giants fought in two other memorable events: The Fight of the Century and Ali-Frazier II. Ali won both.

Even after the dispicable, deplorable behavior of Ali (who graces the November, 2011 cover of Mens Journal magazine) leading up to the Thrilla in Manilla bout (for which he later apologized) the two would eventually become allies, even thought they still continued to trade insults at each other.

On Frazier's death, Ali calling Frazier a "great champion", said "I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration. My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones."

Frazier remained active in his later years, hosting charity events and even going on the road promoting his singing group Smokin' Joe Frazier and the Knockouts.

He received a Lifetime Achievement Award and served as co-sponsor for several charity events.

He was a staple at the yearly Fight Night charity event for children and could be seen mingling with former boxing legends like Cooney, Shavers, Spinks and others.

The crowd loved watching him shadowboxing inside the event's ring.

Joe Frazier seen here in 2008 at the annual Fight For Children Fight Night gala. Photo/CD Brown.

Frazier was born Jan 12, 1944 in Beaufort, S.C. where he became interested in boxing at an early age. He became a top amateur for several years before finally winning a gold medal in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics - the only American fighter to do so.

Even then he showed his toughness, fighting with an injured thumb.

His autobiography, Smokin' Joe: The Autobiography of a Heavyweight Champion of the World, came out in 1996.

He remained actively involved in his boxing gym in Philadelpia where future boxing champions are being trained.

"The kids are tomorrow", said Frazier. "If we don't do for them now, how can we expect them to carry on."