Back when folks questioned how a brawler would match up against a professor of the sweet science rather than how a BJJ blackbelt would do against a Judoka and long before Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell introduced a major rivalry into Mixed Martial Arts, there was Joe Frazier.
Last night the heavyweight boxing great passed away from cancer at the age of 67 after the world had only learned of his illness a little more than a month ago. His death marks the loss of a legitimate all-timer in his respective sport and hit close to home for a number of fight-fans including some familiar names in the MMA community.
Never the prettiest man in or out of the ring, there was an honesty and integrity surrounding Frazier people could relate to and an ungodly left hook leaving viewers in awe. His feud with Muhammad Ali is legendary, as are his encounters with fellow greats like Jerry Quarry and George Foreman.
Below are some of the countless quotes pulled from Twitter featuring some familiar names paying homage to “Smokin” Joe…
“Joe Frazier was my favorite boxer of all time and I am sad I will never get the chance to meet the man. Rest in peace champ.” – Pat Miletich
“Rest in Peace Joe Frazier. The memories and history you have left us will live on forever, thank you.” – Miguel Torres
“RIP “Smoking Joe” Frazier, as a small heavyweight I looked up to him! Frazier vs. Ali “Fight of the Century” was God like. Enjoy Heaven champ.” – Duke Roufus
“Joe Frazier died today.. What a terrible loss. One of the greatest ever. Thank you Joe for paving the way. R.I.P. Smoking Joe Frazier.” – Chris Lozano
“R.I.P Joe Frazier. One of the best ever!” – Rad Martinez
“Joe Frazier RIP. I’m going to watch some YouTube of his fights, great left hook.” – Justin Buchholz
“RIP Smokin Joe Frazier! Boxing will miss him.” – Tarec Saffiedine
“RIP Joe Frazier. One of the best of all time. Watching Ali vs Frazier replays as a kid were a Sunday staple for my late father and I.” – Joe Kelly (Titan FC President)
“Rest in Peace SMOKIN “JOE FRAZIER one of the greats. You will be missed.” – Mark Pavelich (MFC President)
“RIP Smokin Joe Frazier. :(” – Dana White
“My thoughts and prayers go out to Smokin Joe’s family. It saddens me to know that when of the all time greats is no longer walking this earth.” – Josh Thomson
“My heart is sad n heavy over just learning of Boxing legend Joe Frazier’s passing. It was an honor to know him… Rest in Peace Champ!” – Bruce Buffer
Wow just found out about one of my favorite boxers of all time just passed RIP Smokin Joe Frazier. All time great and inspiration to all.” – Justin Edwards
“Rest in peace Smokin’ Joe…” – Jimmy Smith
“RIP Joe Frazier. Your legend will live forever.” – Shamar Bailey
“Wow, huge loss to fight community and one of my fav’s, RIP Smokin Joe. Love that man’s style!!!” – Jay Glazer
There were also a number of general “RIP” messages from fighters/media/executives/trainers/etc. We too at MMATraining would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family of a classy man who changed the fight game and was taken away far too suddenly.
What do you think about the subject on today’s “Opening Round”? Tell us on our Twitter account (@mmatraining)!