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Joe Frazier's Family and Friends will Gather March 8th to Celebrate His Legacy

They will all gather at 3pm at Xfinity Live! in the South Philadelphia sports complex to honour Frazier's legacy and declare it "Joe Frazier Day".

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On March 8, 1971, the world watched as two undefeated heavyweight champions, Philadelphia's "Smokin' Joe Frazier" and Muhammad Ali, faced off in the "Fight of the Century" at New York's Madison Square Garden. In the 15th round, Frazier delivered a left hook that sent Ali to the canvas, securing his WBA and WBC Heavyweight championship belts and handing Ali his first loss.

Now, on March 8, 2023, Philadelphia Council member Kenyatta Johnson and Frazier's family will gather at Xfinity Live! in the South Philadelphia sports complex to honour Frazier's legacy and declare it "Joe Frazier Day." Xfinity Live! is home to an 11-foot tall, 1,800-pound statue of Frazier, who passed away in 2011.

The event is free and open to the public, a chance for Philadelphians to come together and celebrate one of their own. Pete Lyde, the husband of Frazier's daughter, Jacqueline Frazier-Lyde, expressed his gratitude for the honor, saying, "The heavyweight championship is the crown jewel of titles."

Frazier's fighting spirit embodied the city of Philadelphia, according to Johnson. Frazier's legacy is one of hard work and determination, inspiring others to follow their dreams regardless of their circumstances. Frazier won Golden Glove championships and a gold medal at the Olympics before turning professional in 1965. In 1970, he defeated Jimmy Ellis to win the heavyweight championship, which he held until 1973.

Frazier's impact on the city extended beyond the boxing ring. He supported black-owned businesses and was known for his generosity, buying Easter outfits for neighborhood children and giving turkeys to people in need at Thanksgiving. Frazier even gave money to Ali when he was unable to fight after being stripped of his boxing license for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War. Frazier advocated for Ali's reinstatement, despite their intense rivalry leading up to their fights in 1974 and 1975.

Frazier's record at retirement was 32 wins, four losses, one draw, and 27 knockouts. He chose to make Philadelphia his home, and his legacy lives on in the city he loved. "We want to make sure that people never forget his history and accomplishments here in Philly and all over the world," Lyde said. On March 8, 2023, Philadelphians will come together to honor Frazier's legacy and celebrate his impact on their city.

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