Joe Frazier's Biggest Fights
Here's a look at the 10 most notable fights in the career of Joe Frazier, who died Nov. 7 of liver cancer. After capturing a gold medal at the 1964 Olympics, Frazier knocked out his first 11 professional opponents before facing his toughest test yet in Oscar Bonavena. The rugged Argentine floored Frazier twice in the second round, but the Philadelphian rallied to win a majority decision at Madison Square Garden.
After four more victories, Frazier met iron-chinned Canadian contender George Chuvalo and knocked him out for the first time in his career.
Frazier won the New York State title -- then recognized by many as a world title -- by flattening Buster Mathis with a left hook in the 11th round. Mathis had been the only opponent to defeat Frazier in the amateurs.
Frazier stopped hard-nosed contender Jerry Quarry in the seventh round in a fight that was named Ring magazine's Fight of the Year for 1969.
Frazier unified the fractured titles when WBA champion Jimmy Ellis -- having suffered the first two knockdowns of his career in the fourth round -- couldn't answer the bell for the fifth. Despite Frazier's convincing victory, many still recognized Muhammad Ali as the true champion since the exiled fighter hadn't lost his title in the ring.
Frazier made his first defense against light heavyweight champion Bob Foster, knocking out the future Hall of Famer with a punishing left hook in the second round.
Frazier and Muhammad Ali were both undefeated when they met in the "Fight of the Century" before 20,445 fans at Madison Square Garden (and 1.3 million watching via closed-circuit TV). Frazier fell behind early but came on strong as the fight wore on, flooring Ali with a devastating left hook in the 15th round to punctuate a unanimous-decision victory.
Frazier made two more title defenses before meeting George Foreman before 36,000 fans in Kingston, Jamaica. Despite the 3-to-1 odds in his favor, Frazier was floored six times in two rounds before referee Arthur Mercante stopped it at 1:35 of the second.
After getting outpointed by Ali in a non-title rematch, Frazier met Jerry Quarry in a highly anticipated rematch of their 1969 classic. Frazier felled his game opponent with a vicious left hook to the body in the fifth round from which Quarry was unable to recover.
Frazier faced Muhammad Ali for the third and final time in Quezon City, Philippines -- the so-called "Thrilla in Manila" -- in an action-filled bout that effectively ended the careers of both fighters. Widely recognized as the greatest heavyweight championship fight ever, Ali won when Frazier's trainer Eddie Futch refused to let his fighter come out for the 15th round. Ali later said it was the "closest thing to dying I know of."