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WAMC's Daily Sports Wrap


Albany, NY – Well the boxing community has lost a legend...

Joe Frazier, the former heavyweight champion who handed Muhammad Ali his first defeat, yet lived forever in his shadows, has died after a brief fight with liver cancer. He was 67.

Smokin' Joe took on Ali in three momentous fights in the 1970s, including the epic "Thrilla in Manilla" in 1975. Frazier was a small but ferocious fighter who smothered his opponents with punches, including a devastating left hook he used to end many of his fights. It was the left hook that dropped Ali in the 15th round at Madison Square Garden in 1971 to seal a win in the so-called "Fight of the Century."

According to a family friend, Frazier had been under home hospice care after being diagnosed just weeks ago with the cancer that took his life. Smokin' Joe Frazier - dead at 67.

To the NFL - last night in Philadelphia, Jay Cutler threw a pair of touchdown passes, including a late, go-ahead strike to Earl Bennett, as the Bears rallied to beat the Eagles 30-24. Chicago improves to 5-3, while the self-dubbed "Dream Team" slips to 3-5.

On the ice, last night in Boston, Nathan Horton had two goals and an assist, and Tuukka Rask stopped 24 shots, as the Bruins skated past the Islanders 6-2. The defending Stanley Cup champions have now won three in a row for the first time this season.

Elsewhere, San Jose doubled up Los Angeles 4-2.

In NBA news, players face a Wednesday deadline to accept the league's latest proposal or face a worse one, and Commissioner David Stern says "the only rational thing to do is for us to make that deal."

In college sports news, Joe Paterno, college football's winningest and perhaps most revered coach, is being engulfed in a growing furor over the alleged cover-up of a sex abuse scandal at Penn State.

The Pennsylvania state police commissioner said Paterno fulfilled his legal requirement when he relayed to university administrators that a graduate assistant had seen former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky attacking a young boy in the team's locker room shower in 2002.

Senior Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley have both stepped down. The pair are accused of failing to alert police to complaints that Sandusky had sexually abused eight boys.

And in baseball news, the Melkman delivered. The Royals have traded outfielder Melky Cabrera to the Giants for left-hander Jonathan Sanchez and a minor league pitcher.

I'm Tristan O'Neill, WAMC News.