Something told me that I would come back on here posting about celebrity passings as opposed to something more jovial. And I had some pretty good stuff to talk about to (which I will still get to). But there's no overlooking some significant voids that were recently left. The first being one of boxing's greatest legends.
It wasn't until recently (as in the past couple of years) that I fully comprehended exactly what a hospice was. I just thought it meant home care. Not a place that specialized in preparing terminal patients and their families to make their loved ones last remaining days on earth more peaceful. So when I heard that Joe was going into hospice this past weekend, I knew it wasn't going to end well.
Joe wasn't from my era but he certainly was a big influence on it. He came from a time period when boxing reigned supreme because heavyweight fighters were actually worth their mettle. They weren't trying to duck anyone. They made sure they took on their toughest competitors so that boxing was always exciting to watch. It was something the carried over into the 80s when the torch was passed to Mike Tyson. Frazier was a big part of that.
Of course I don't remember Ali and Frazier's first fight in 1971 dubbed "The Fight of the Century". I'm old but I'm not that old. However, I do remember watching replays of it when I was just a shorty not even in junior high yet. I used to marvel at how relentless Joe was. Dude really was like a bulldog. His brawler style was everything that boxing should be.
It's too bad that Ali and Frazier could not have been better acquainted in their later years. Or in better health for that matter. The two of them helped create boxing history that can never be repeated. Ever. And now half of that epic duo is gone. But certainly not forgotten.
Rest in peace, Champ.