Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, known for his rivalry with Muhammad Ali, has died after battling cancer, reports The New York Times. He was 67.
As previously reported, Frazier was in hospice care, suffering from liver cancer.
Frazier’s legendary battles with Ali mesmerized international TV audiences, with the 1975 bout the "Thrilla in Manila" regarded as one of the greatest matches in boxing history, the story notes. That fight ended when Frazier failed to come out to face his rival for the 15th round, the piece adds.
"Many viewed the Ali-Frazier matches as a snapshot of the struggles of the 1960s," the article points out. "Ali, an adherent of the Nation of Islam who had changed his name from Cassius Clay, came to represent rising black anger in America and opposition to the Vietnam War. Frazier voiced no political views, but he was nonetheless depicted, to his consternation, as the favorite of the establishment."
After learning of Frazier’s death, Ali said in a statement, "I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration," according to The Guardian. "The world has lost a great champion."