Joe Frazier, in a bid to end decades of feuding between the two former heavyweight champions, finally extended an olive branch to Muhammad Ali.
"It's about time to bring it to an end. I don't feel that I'm too big I can't say I'm sorry," Frazier said of the bickering that has continued between the pair since the last of their three epic bouts, the "Thrilla in Manila" on Oct. 1, 1975. "I'm willing to say I'm sorry if I said anything to hurt you.
"We got to do it, before we all close our eyes, because I want to see him in heaven," the 52-year-old Frazier said of Ali, 54, who is stricken with Parkinson's syndrome.
Frazier's conciliatory words clash with the rancorous remarks he made in his recent autobiography. In the book "Smokin' Joe," he wrote of Ali: "Truth is, I'd like to rumble with that sucker again -- beat him up piece by piece and mail him back to Jesus."
And in a recent Sports Illustrated article, he said of watching Ali light the Olympic flame: "It would have been a good thing if he would have lit the torch and fallen in. If I had the chance, I would have pushed him in."