The sport of Boxing lost a great fighter and a great man on Monday when Joe Frazier lost his fight against liver cancer at the age of 67. Frazier’s accomplishments in the ring speak for themselves and he was one of the greatest fighters of all time. Because he fought in the same era as Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, the trio of them have been linked together and Frazier is somewhat overshadowed by the other two. Frazier, Ali, and Foreman were the big three of the era and Foreman and Ali were the only ones who beat Frazier.
Foreman and Frazier though have deeper ties than just what happened between the two in the ring. So when the news about Frazier passing away came to light, George Foreman was front and center reflecting on the life of one of his best friends.
George Foreman joined 105.3 The Fan in Dallas with Shan and RJ to talk about his thoughts on Joe Frazier, whether or not his relationship with Frazier continued outside of the ring, how tough the last few days have been for him since Frazier passed away, what kind of relationship Frazier and Ali had, and what it was like to fight Joe Frazier.
His thoughts on Joe Frazier:
“The most consistent human being that I’ve ever met. You wouldn’t meet a Joe Frazier down today and then up tomorrow, said hello to big shots then ignore someone on the lower level, he was the most consistent human being. What you see is what you get.”
Whether or not his relationship with Frazier went beyond boxing:
“Joe Frazier by the way, his daughter was a boxer and that even recreated our friendship because his daughter and I became very good friends. She’s a judge now, a state judge in Pennsylvania and Joe and I would talk all the time and exchange gifts. I’m surprised I didn’t know earlier that he was sick. For good reasons, maybe they finally just wanted to keep it as close as possible. He was one of my best friends.”
How tough the last two days have been for him since it was announced that Frazier passed away:
“It was kinda rough. You don’t just lose a friend like that and then everything is all fine and dandy but then you think about, I had good years with Joe Frazier and I was able to tell him things that ordinarily boxers are not able to tell each other. Like ‘I love you, I miss you, needing the cash,’ I was able to do those things and didn’t leave any stones unturned if you know what I mean. I sure would’ve liked to get another six or seven years with him. What a Boogieman. He loved to dance, have fun, a party animal to the end.”
What the relationship was like between Frazier and Ali:
“Joe Frazier is from a big family like myself. Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier were like two brothers. One that Muhammad Ali always teased the other brother and the other brother is like ‘Oh you teased me again I’m gonna fight you.’ These guys genuinely loved each other. They loved each other. I don’t know what Muhammad Ali is going to do once he receives that news. He loved that man. Don’t let anybody fool you. There was no hate there.”
What kind of fighter Joe Frazier was:
“When that bell would ring if you were King Kong you better put your cup as close to your head because he was coming. There would be no backing down. Frazier was not a big man at all. Frazier was about 5-9 but he would make anyone run. Put up your dukes and cover up because he’s coming. He never backed up from anyone.”
How tough it was to fight Joe Frazier:
“I wanted to be champ of the world but I kept hoping something would happen to Frazier. I didn’t want to fight him. Nobody wanted to fight Joe Frazier. The bell rung and he threw that left hook that barely missed me. It sounded like a bullet and I got nervous. I knocked him down and I said he’s gonna kill me now. I knocked him down again and said oh he’s mad now. I knocked him down again. I kept knocking him down and he kept getting up. After six times I was awarded the championship of the world. He was still trying to get me when they stopped the fight.”