Unpublished Photos Of Boxer Joe Frazier From 'Life'
On the set of NBC's long-running "Kraft Music Hall" variety show, Frazier tests out a band member's trumpet.
Ali taunts Frazier at his own training headquarters in Pennsylvania. Of this photo — one of few that were published before the fight — Shearer told LIFE.com that "it came to represent, in a way, what was about to happen."
Frazier playing basketball in rural Pennsylvania, winter 1971
"When I see this picture of Joe running by himself," Shearer says now, all these years later, "the one thing that strikes me, maybe even more than when I was making these photos, is the memory of his discipline."
A photo of Frazier working out on the speed bag shows his trademark fighting style: Crouching, weaving, aggressive, relentless.
Ali. His face swollen and bruised, Frazier — stoic even in victory — makes himself presentable after defeating Ali.
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Boxer Joe Frazier, who infamously beat Muhammad Ali in the 1971 "Fight of the Century," died Monday at 67.
In addition to photographing that legendary fight, 24-year-old John Shearer spent the months before it photographing both contenders for Life magazine. A handful of those photos were published, but most remained completely unseen until recently.
Our news blog has more info on Frazier's death; and there's a full gallery of Shearer's unseen boxing photos over at Life. Here are just a few shots of Frazier in the months leading up to his big fight — and one immediately after.