(Reuters) - The sports world paid tribute to former heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier on Monday after the warrior whose toughness resonated with the blue collar everyman died at the age of 67.
"Smokin' Joe" fought with fearless aggression that belied his modest size and packed a powerful left hook that helped him rule the world heavyweight division from 1970 to 1973.
Frazier, the first boxer to beat Muhammad Ali, died in Philadelphia a month after being diagnosed with liver cancer.
"The world has lost a great champion," Ali said in a statement on Monday. "I will always remember Joe with respect and admiration. My sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones."
"We are all saddened by the death of a legendary Olympic champion," U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Communications Officer Patrick Sandusky wrote on his Twitter account.
"See you in heaven 'Smokin Joe Frazier.'"
Current undefeated WBC World Welterweight Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. was among those who expressed their appreciation of the late Frazier.
"Condolences go out to the family of the late great Joe Frazier. The Money Team will pay for funeral services," he Tweeted. (Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)