Joe Frazier Still Swinging in Philadelphia
By: Legacy Staff
3 years ago
Smokin' Joe Frazier won a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics.
Now Frazier's adopted hometown, Philadelphia, is poised to honor his memory with bronze in the form of a 9-foot statue of the boxer.
Artist Stephen Layne is currently finishing up a clay model of the statue that will then be used to produce a bronze version, which – at 1,800 pounds – will be just as tough to knock down as Frazier himself was.
The statue immortalizes the moment when, in 1971, Frazier threw a hard left against Muhammad Ali, knocking him to the mat during their championship bout. According to The Associated Press, the completed statue is due to be unveiled in spring 2015, most likely in April, at the Xfinity Live complex, near the site of the Spectrum, where Frazier previously fought.
Relatives of Frazier, who died of liver cancer three years ago, have offered feedback on the sculpture, which Layne told Philly.com he has been eager to incorporate into the sculpture. It remains to be seen whether Frazier, the first man to knock out Ali, can stand up against Philadelphia's other most famous boxer, Rocky Balboa, and the iconic statue built in his honor near the city's art museum. Promoters believe that visitors to the city will want to pay tribute to the city's real boxing champ.