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Boxing great Joe Frazier, who went toe to toe three times with Muhammad Ali, including the famous “Thrilla in Manila” fight, is seriously ill with liver cancer and is in a hospice, his personal and business manager said Saturday.

Frazier, 67, is in a Philadelphia facility, manager Leslie Wolff said. The former heavyweight champion was diagnosed just four or five weeks ago.

“He’s a true gentleman,” Wolff said. “Along with Muhammad Ali, (he is) one of the two most recognizable athletes in the world.”

Frazier, nicknamed “Smokin’ Joe,” used his devastating left hook with impunity during his professional career, retiring with a 32-4-1 record.

Frazier, the son of a South Carolina sharecropper, boxed during the glory days of the heavyweight division, going up against greats George Foreman, Oscar Bonavena, Joe Bugner and Jimmy Ellis.

But it was his three much-hyped fights against Ali that helped seal his legend.


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