Boxing: Fears grow for the health of Smokin' Joe


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The Independent Online

The former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, elevated to boxing immortality by his three epic fights with Muhammad Ali, is in a "very painful and serious situation" with liver cancer, according to his manager Leslie Wolff.

"Smokin' Joe" Frazier, 67, was diagnosed with liver cancer about a month ago and is now in hospital in Philadelphia, said Wolff. "We are doing everything we can ... but I would be a liar if I did not tell you it is very serious," he said. But Wolff added: "Joe is a fighter. Joe doesn't give up."

Frazier fought Ali three times in the 1970s – including the 'Thriller in Manila', which ranks among the greatest ever occasions in the fight game.

Frazier won the first bout of the trilogy and Ali took the next two.

Frank Warren, the promoter, said: "I was very sad to hear the news. He beat Ali once and was part of a great era, probably the best heavyweight era." REUTERS