Boxing Legends Attend Frazier’s Funeral

click image to enlarge
November 15, 2011 | 4:10am EST

Boxing legends Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali turned out to pay their respects to former world heavyweight champion Joe Frazier at his funeral on Monday.
Friends and family bid farewell to Frazier, who lost his fight with liver cancer last week, at the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson also attended the service, and he gave a moving tribute to Frazier.

Jackson also called for city officials to honour the late sports star with a statue, similar to the one of film fighter Rocky, portrayed by Sylvester Stallone, which stands outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

He said, “Rocky is an imaginary figure who never existed. Rocky never tasted his own blood. Rocky never faced Ken Norton. He never faced Ali. He never faced Larry Holmes.

“Joe paid real dues and he is a guy who we can emulate because of his sense of family, an ordinary Joe with extraordinary things. He remained our neighbour. He remained a church member. He remained a guy from the streets, so Philadelphia will honour itself by honouring Joe Frazier, but better late than never.”

Actor Mickey Rourke sent a video-taped message of condolence, while Ali says, “I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration.”

Frazier became the first man to beat Ali as a professional when he knocked him down in a 1971 match, which was known as the Fight of the Century.