Joe Frazier in Fight of His Life with Liver Cancer

Tom LoughreyAnalyst IIINovember 5, 2011

VOORHEES, NJ - SEPTEMBER 14:  Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery meets for the first time former boxing champion Joe Frazier at Emory's Flyers training camp locker at the Skate Zone on September 14, 2009 in Voorhees, NJ.  Frazier was given a Flyers jersey with his name and the number one on it.  Emery has an image of Joe Frazier painted on his helmet.  (Photo by Norman Y. Lono/Getty Images)
Norman Y. Lono/Getty Images

Legendary boxer Joe Frazier, 67, is battling advanced liver cancer, and this is no ordinary fight for one of the best boxers to ever live.

Frazier is “deathly ill” according to Fox Sports, and he looks to be approaching the final moments of his life. A source close to Frazier had this to say about the ill athlete:

"He’s in serious shape, we’re looking for a miracle. They’re only giving him a short time to live. We need to have as many people as possible praying for Joe right now."

Smokin’ Joe has a career full of memories. The “Thrilla in Manila” is his most well-known bout, although he lost in 14 rounds to the mighty Muhammad Ali.

The International Boxing Research Organization ranks Frazier as one of the top-10 heavyweight boxers of all time.

Frazier is not only known for his career in the ring. His generosity and compassionate personality have gained him boatloads of respect as a person outside of the ring. A friend of his was also quoted in the article:

"Joe is one of the sweetest guys you could ever meet. Sometimes we’d be driving down the highway and see a car broken down and we would have to go out and help somebody. That’s Joe Frazier."

He’s often not given the credit he deserves for boxing in the Golden Era of the sport. Names like Ali and George Foreman get nearly all the credit for making boxing huge, but they needed a worthy opponent, and Frazier was more than that.

Many will remember him as an Olympic and undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champion who fought during arguably the best period for heavyweight boxing in history.

But the people close to him know him for more than that.

I send my prayers out to Frazier, his family and close friends.


Lead photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated