INSIDE THE RING, they produced some of boxing’s most epic clashes; outside it, they were bitter enemies.
But despite his own deteriorating health, Muhammad Ali is expected to attend the funeral of Smokin’ Joe Frazier on Monday.
Fox Sports reports that Ali will join the boxing community at Philadelphia’s Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church to bid farewell to the former world heavyweight champion.
Frazier died last Monday evening following a battle with liver cancer. He was 67.
Frazier famously became the first man to defeat Ali, defending his world title in “The Fight of the Century” in 1971. The two went on to meet on two other occasions with Ali winning both, most famously at the “Thrilla in Manila” in 1975.
However, it would take Frazier many years to forgive Ali for the manner in which he publicly insulted and provoked him in the build-up to their fights.
Frazier’s death on Monday sparked a flood of tributes from inside and outside the world of boxing. His body will lie in state in Philadelphia today and tomorrow, giving fans an opportunity to pay their final respects.