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Smokin' Joe Frazier attends Rumble at the Rock III press conference in the River Rock Casino near Vancouver
Smokin' Joe Frazier arrives for the Rumble at the Rock III press conference in the River Rock Casino near Vancouver, British Columbia, December 27, 2007. Televised live on ESPN "Friday Night Fights," tomorrow night's fights will be headlined by a ten round heavyweight match between Dominick Guinn based out of Houston, Texas and Robert Hawkins from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (UPI Photo/Heinz Ruckemann)
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Joseph William "Joe" Frazier, known as Smokin' Joe (pronounced /ˈfreɪʒər/; born January 12, 1944), is a former Olympic and World Heavyweight boxing champion, whose professional career lasted from 1965 to 1976, with a brief comeback in 1981.

Frazier emerged as a contender in the mid-1960s, defeating Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, Buster Mathis, Eddie Machen, Doug Jones and Jimmy Ellis en route to becoming undisputed heavyweight champion in 1970, and followed up by defeating Muhammad Ali in the highly-anticipated "Fight of the Century" in 1971. Two years later Frazier lost his title when he was knocked out by George Foreman. He launched a comeback, beating Joe Bugner, losing a rematch to Ali, and beating Quarry and Ellis again.

Frazier's last world title challenge came in 1975, but he was beaten by Ali in their brutal rubbermatch. He retired in 1976 following a second loss to Foreman. He made a comeback in 1981, fighting just once, before retiring for good. The International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) rates Frazier among the ten greatest heavyweights of all time. He is an inductee of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Joe Frazier."
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