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Muhammad Ali Speaks On Joe Frazier Cancer Battle

Muhammad Ali has said a lot of words about his former boxing rival Joe Frazier in his life, most of them antagonizing. Not on Sunday.

Muhammad Ali released a statement Sunday on Frazier, who is in hospice care with liver cancer. Frazier, the boxing legend and Philadelphia native, became the first fighter to beat Ali in 1971. But the pair's bitter rivalry bred respect, which was evident in Ali's words:

"The news about Joe is hard to believe and even harder to accept. Joe is a fighter and a champion, and I am praying he is fighting now."

Frazier was diagnosed at the end of the summer and is in serious condition right now. SB Nation Philly will continue to follow up with the latest news on Smokin' Joe.

If you're interested in the relationship between Ali and Frazier, you might like this LIFE photo gallery from their fight in 1971, dubbed The Fight of the Century.

(h/t CSN Philly)