Just days after dying after a bout with liver cancer, the family of boxing great Joe Frazier tell BMS the funeral for the late heavyweight will take place in Philly Monday at 11am.
Smokin’ Joe’s body will be lying in state at the Wells Fargo Center Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“This will be an opportunity for his many fans, supporters and boxing lovers from around the world to pay their final respects to Joe Frazier,” his family said in a release.
Frazier’s funeral will be a closed casket ceremony Monday at the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church on Cheltenham Avenue. Guests can pay tribute to Frazier from 9 to 11 a.m. and the service will begin at 11, family said.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Frazier’s name to the American Cancer Society:
Checks payable to ACS, Inc.
8400 Silver Crossing
Oklahoma City, OK, 73132
Frazier was born Jan. 12, 1944 in Beaufort, S.C. but would later live and train in Philadelphia where he operated his own boxing gym in his later years.
His reign as heavyweight champion lasted only four fights — including the win over Ali — before he ran into George Foreman. Foreman responded to Frazier’s constant attack by dropping him three times in the first round and three more in the second before their 1973 fight in Jamaica was waved to a close and the world had a new heavyweight champion.
Two fights later, Frazier met Ali in a rematch of their first fight, only this time the outcome was different. Ali won a 12-round decision, and later that year stopped Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire.
There had to be a third fight, though, and what a fight it was. With Ali’s heavyweight title at stake, the two met in Manila in a fight that will long be seared in boxing history.
“They told me Joe Frazier was through,” Ali told Frazier at one point during the fight.
“They lied,” Frazier said, before hitting Ali with a left hook.
Finally, though, Frazier simply couldn’t see and Futch would not let him go out for the 15th round. Ali won the fight while on his stool, exhausted and contemplating himself whether to go on.
It was one of the greatest fights ever, but it took a toll. Frazier would fight only two more times, getting knocked out in a rematch with Foreman eight months later before coming back in 1981 for an ill advised fight with Jumbo Cummings.
Defending WBC welterweight champ and pound-for-pound mainstay Floyd Mayweather Jr. has agreed to pick up the tab for legendary heavyweight Joe Frazier’s funeral services.
Earlier in the year, Mayweather covered funeral costs for former opponent and the source of his first world title, Genaro Hernandez.