I have never been in a fight, though there are moments I wish otherwise. Whenever I see a boxing match on TV, I make sure to watch it because the entire notion behind the sport seems absurd.

Two people enter a ring, each with the foreknowledge that the other is trying to knock him out within five, 10 or 15 rounds. It's ridiculous—but also thrilling.

The most excited I've ever been to watch a fight was when I was 14 years old, when ESPN Boxing Classics was showing the first match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. I remember thinking to myself that the name Frazier sounded familiar, but I figured that he was probably just another fighter Ali beat up to win the heavyweight title.

I was so wrong. Instead of seeing Ali destroy this man, I witnessed a 15-round marathon between two giants. Frazier cocked his left hand in the 15th, and down went Ali. He hit the mat with a loud thud, but immediately bounced right back up.

Though I was not yet a boxing fan, I noticed Ali's glassy eyes; they told the story in stark clarity.

He mustered up what little energy he had left, but the match was already over and the judges awarded Frazier the victory.

After reading about Frazier's recent passing and listening to his friends, family and opponents tell their stories about him, I realized how lucky I had been to have known something of his prime while he was still alive.

On a whim, I turned to YouTube and typed in the words "Joe Frazier," and within the blink of an eye, a million results popped up.

The very first was the fight I watched all those years ago.

The first time I rewatched the fight, I noticed how calm Frazier was against Ali, unafraid of the man who could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. (Although I personally would rather be stung by a bee than wailed on by Ali.)

After watching it a second time, something more important became apparent. Frazier stood within a foot of Ali's face during the hour long bout and toyed with him. The man who proclaimed himself "The Greatest" boxer looked absolutely silly. Swing after swing, jab after jab, Ali was lucky to land a third of his punches on Frazier.

And all the time Frazier just waited for the right moment to strike; when he did, it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.

The idea that a left hook is beautiful sounds crazy, but it really isn't. It's easy to throw a punch, but there's a difference between throwing a punch and what Frazier did. There was a grace to his style that made it beautiful and inspirational. It's hard to find perfection, so when I saw Frazier at his greatest, I felt inspired.

I wanted to pull on a pair of gloves and see what the world could throw at me.

In short, perfection in any form is difficult to find. It took two men beating each other up for me to realize this. I also learned that perfection is deceptive; Frazier made fighting Ali look easy.

But how many hours in the gym did it take before his torso became hard enough to tolerate all those body shots? How many days did he spend running and working out so that he could last 15 rounds?

In short, how did Frazier know that he was going to be the last man standing in the ring? The answer is that he didn't know at all—he simply did it.

There is no room for guessing when it comes to perfection. All you have to do is believe, and watching Frazier go the distance showed me that if I want something bad enough, I need to be strong enough to go and do it my own way.