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Ali and Tyson to attend Frazier’s funeral

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LAS VEGAS — Former heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson are expected to attend a private funeral service for Joe Frazier in Philadelphia today.

A ten-bell salute and moment of silence to pay tribute to Frazier marked the big tournament in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

The traditional 10-count ringside farewell, using the bell that signals the end of rounds in fights, was homage to the former undisputed heavyweight champion who died from liver cancer last Monday at the age of 67.

The bout between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez began a while later; the first major fight in the boxing mecca since Frazier’s death.

Spectators gave Frazier a moment of silence as the rings echoed throughout the arena. A video presentation featuring Frazier commenting about his career followed.

Thousands of fans in Frazier’s hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, paid their respects to the fighter at a public memorial on Friday and Saturday.

Ali lost to “Smokin’ Joe” in 1971 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, but won a 1974 rematch and stopped Frazier after 14 rounds in their final fight, the “Thrilla in Manila” in 1975 in Pacquiao’s homeland.

“His memory in boxing will remain,” Pacquiao said of Frazier earlier this week. “We lost a great champion. He was a great fighter. He left a huge legacy.”

Private funeral services are scheduled to be held at a Philadelphia church on Monday.

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