Joe Frazier has seen better days, says Wallace Matthews in Newsday, but his moment of glory 37 years ago keeps him going. Still recovering from a 2002 car accident that left him largely confined to a wheelchair, the 64-year-old former heavyweight champ lives alone in an apartment above a gym he runs in Philadelphia. Over the years he lost a small fortune on bad investments, and most of the money he now makes at personal appearances goes toward his medical expenses or supporting 11 children and 26 grandchildren. But there’s one thing no one can take away from him: His thrilling 1971 defeat of Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden. “Sometimes, when things ain’t going right for me for a day or two, I watch the fight,” he says. “I look at it, and I thank the Lord for what He have done for me, for where He have brought me from.” Unlike many athletes and entertainers who resent being reduced to a single accomplishment, Frazier accepts that the greatest day of his life was when he became the man who handed Ali his first loss. “That was my moment. Where would I be without it?” He points to an iconic photograph of the bout, taken at the moment Frazier’s famous left hook sent Ali into the ropes. “Remember ‘The Greatest?’” he asks. “There he is, on the way down.”
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