After learning of the death of boxing legend Joe Frazier on Monday, fellow Philadelphia native and two-time middleweight and current light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins shared his thoughts on the famed champion's passing.
"My reaction was I expected it to come, but the denial of it coming is something that people that know Joe and have been around him tried to block out. It was not shocking, because I knew he had been sick for a while, but now it is real and he is really not here with us anymore.
"Ali and Joe Frazier's rivalry is the king of all rivalries. You cannot mention Ali's name without Frazier, and you cannot mention Frazier without Ali. Their three fights were the three most exciting fights of the century. Joe is a person who will never be imitated or emulated. His legacy in boxing will never be duplicated, especially during his era. There will be only one Smokin' Joe Frazier.
"To be a fighter with a ring name such as Smokin', you're taking a big risk because you must be smokin' with that famous left hook, and he was. His legacy in the city of Philadelphia is up there with the greats, maybe even surpassing the 76ers' Dr. J (Julius Erving).
"He had great discipline and a strong will to win. Joe Frazier is an icon, and he will always be remembered that way. My condolences to the entire Frazier family. It's a very sad day in Philadelphia and all over the world."