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Joe Frazier

Retirement

In 1976 Frazier fought against George Foreman; after suffering a knockout in the fifth round, he announced his retirement. He returned to the ring for a 1981 match against Floyd Cummings, which led to a ten-round defeat by decision. Disabled by hepatitis and problems with his vision, it was Frazier's last match. His professional record stood at thirty-two wins, four losses, and one draw. Frazier won twenty-seven of his fights by knockouts. A careful manager of his finances, Frazier avoided the fate of many of his colleagues and enjoyed a successful post-boxing career as the manager of Smokin' Joe's Gym in Philadelphia and as a singer with his own band, the Knockouts. He also helped steer his son, Marvis Frazier, to a successful boxing career with over $1 million in winnings in the 1980s.

Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, Frazier's reputation as a boxer has grown since his professional career ended. Ali finally offered an apology for his earlier criticism of Frazier, explaining in a 2001 interview with the New York Times, "I said a lot of things in the heat of the moment that I shouldn't have said. Called him names I shouldn't have called him. I apologize for that. I'm sorry. It was all meant to promote the fight." Frazier, forever linked with Ali for their Manila fight—which many observers ranked as one of the sport's greatest matches—accepted the apology. "We have to embrace each other," Frazier told the New York Times, "It's time to talk and get together. Life's too short."

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsBoxingJoe Frazier Biography - South Carolina Childhood, Chronology, Olympic Gold Medalist, Monumental Fights Against Ali And Foreman, Awards And Accomplishments - SELECTED WRITINGS BY FRAZIER: