I am not going to go into details about how Joe Frazier (32-4-1) died, simply because by the time I write this piece, TV news shows and the Internet are buzzing with the champ's death.
There are dozens of great boxers out there, boxers who do their best to entertain and provide people with some degree of inspiration and hope. They win while putting on a show before, during and after the fight. They have teams marketing them in a million different ways, giving people exactly what they want: a hero. Still, despite all that, there are some figures in the sport of boxing that cannot be overshadowed by anyone else at any point in time.
Jack Johnson, Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali and many more names as such will always be held at the very top of the boxing inspirational pyramid.
Joe Frazier was not only one of the most entertaining fighters of his era, but was the first man to beat Muhammad Ali (56-5-0) in March of 1971.
There is too much to be said, and fortunately, it has all been said before and is being reiterated again now that Joe is no longer with us.
He will never be forgotten, never lose stock in boxing, and will serve as an inspirational figure to many young boxers for decades to come.
I offer my condolences to his family, friends and last but not least to you, the average boxing fan, because we have all suffered a loss tonight.
Having said all that, this is also a good day. Today, a man has passed away, but behind him, he didn't just leave a name, or money, or memorable drama; Joe Frazier left an army of fans, a history changing event, and most importantly, he left his spirit, which is unlikely to fade for a very long time.
And that my friends, is a colossal achievement in one lifetime!