Joseph William "Joe" Frazier, also known as Smokin' Joe, is a former Olympic and Undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champion of the world, whose professional career lasted from 1965 to 1976, with a brief 1-fight comeback in 1981.
Frazier emerged as a contender in the mid-1960s, defeating Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, Buster Mathis, Eddie Machen, Doug Jones, and Jimmy Ellis en route to becoming undisputed heavyweight champion in 1970, and followed up by defeating Muhammad Ali in the highly-anticipated "Fight of the Century" in 1971. Two years later Frazier lost his title when he was knocked out by George Foreman. He launched a comeback, beating Joe Bugner, losing a rematch against Muhammad Ali, and beating Quarry and Ellis again.
Frazier's last world title challenge came in 1975, but he was beatenby Muhammad Ali in their 3rd fight in their brutal rubbermatch - known as the legendary "Thrilla in Manila". He retired in 1976 following a second loss to George Foreman. He made a comeback in 1981, fighting just once, before retiring for good, this match was against Floyd Cummings and resulted in a draw. The International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) rates Frazier among the ten greatest heavyweights of all time. He is an inductee of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
Frazier's style was often compared to that of Henry Armstrong, dependent on bobbing, weaving, head movement and wearing down his opponents with relentless pressure from the inside. His best known punch was a powerful left hook, which accounted for most of his knockouts, many boxing critics consider Joe Frazier to have had the best Left Hook in Boxing history. Compared to Muhammad Ali's style, he was close enough to the ideal bruiser that some in the mainstream press and media characterized the bouts as the answer to the classic question: "What happens when an outside boxer meets with an inside brawler?"
Since retiring, Frazier has made cameo appearances in several Hollywood movies, and two episodes of The Simpsons. His son, Marvis Frazier also became a boxer - trained by Frazier himself - although was unable to emulate his father's success. Frazier continues to train fighters at his gym in Philadelphia. His later years have also seen the continuation of his bitter rivalry with Muhammad Ali, in which the two periodically exchange insults, interspersed with brief reconciliations.
Joe Frazier was considered to be a very one-dimensional fighter that did not mix things up. Rather, he was a rather predictable fighter in terms of what his strategy was and what or how he was going to move. This was his biggest weakness. That being said, his strengths made up for this and once Frazier got on the inside, many opponents found it very difficult to create distance or cope with his pressure.