The Final Knock Out

Joe Frazier dead after short bout with liver cancer

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) He almost didn't know what hit him. Joe Frazier had only been diagnosed with cancer about six weeks before the disease killed him.

One of America's finest and most charismatic boxers - "Smokin' Joe" Frazier has died of liver cancer. He was 67.

"Ask your doctor about liver cancer risks."

Only a day earlier his personal and business manager, Leslie Wolff, had announced Frazier was in hospice - a place where only palliative (comfort) care is given at the end of life.

And what a life he had. The former heavyweight champion met most of the legends of the sport as he himself became legendary.

His powerful left hook is said to have been one of the most powerful ever thrown. The last of his three matches with Muhammad Ali - the "Louisville Lip" - left the other giant of the sport saying he almost died in the fight that was called after 14 rounds - Frazier's eyes both swollen shut.

Animosity haunted Ali and Frazier for years after they both hung up their gloves. Beyond the athletic competition, Frazier was particularly sensitive about Ali's Muslim faith.

Ironically, though, it was Frazier who personally petitioned Richard Nixon to have Ali's title reinstated after it was stripped because he refused to fight in Vietnam for religious reasons.

Frazier was diagnosed with liver cancer in late September and made a couple of public appearances afterwards. But the disease, apparently, had already spread its venom throughout his body.

He died at a hospice facility in Philadephia on Monday, November 7, 2011.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
November 7, 2011
Last Updated:
November 8, 2011