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Joe Frazier Statue Plans Are Now Back on Track

Plans to erect a statue of Joe Frazier are back on track, two years after the former heavyweight champion's death.

Frazier's statue was scheduled to be erected next year at an entertainment complex near Philadelphia's three sports stadiums near the now demolished Spectrum, an arena where he fought.

But plans to place the tribute in the same complex that is already home to statues of basketball star Julius Erving and the Stanley Cup champion Broad Street Bullies were sidetracked when the sculptor, Lawrence J Nowlan, died in August.

Philadelphia sculptor Stephen Lane has picked the project off the mat and was selected to create a piece that should be finished by the end of next year.

Frazier died, aged 67, on November 7 2011 after a brief battle with liver cancer.

Bernard Hopkins was among the prominent boosters who helped the city reach its $150 000 fundraising goal for the statue.

Smokin' Joe Frazier slugged his way to the heavyweight title in 1971 by becoming the first boxer to beat Muhammad Ali. They fought two more classic bouts, including the Thrilla in Manila in 1975 Frazier lost both rematches.

Lane is set to get started on the 2.7m statue he based off a photo of Frazier's knockdown of Ali.

"He just threw that Philly left hook and knocked Ali down," Lane said on Thursday. "That's the moment I thought was quintessential Joe. It was the big deal of his career."

The Frazier memorial may finally silence critics who have long derided the city for showering more brotherly love on fictional movie fighter Rocky Balboa than on a real champion.

A "statue" of Rocky – actually a movie prop left over from Rocky 3 – stands beside the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Weatta Collins, Frazier's daughter, was glad her father's statue would serve as a permanent reminder of all he did for the city and boxing.

"As long as people remember him," she said, "that would be a blessing. We're pretty grateful."

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User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by - Ram Raid - on 11-09-2013

[QUOTE=Danny Gunz;13914360]Context is important though. The rocky statue was bought and made for Rocky III by the movie producers not the city.[/QUOTE] I know. And, it was a master stroke of publicity by Stallone in donating it to the city.…

Comment by MrRolltide91 on 11-09-2013

he deserves one

Comment by Danny Gunz on 11-09-2013

[QUOTE=Stokely;13912518]It's somewhat of a travesty that Philadelphia has a statue of a fictional boxer and not one of Joe Frazier. Hopefully this will come to fruition and honour him in the manner he deserves. Shame it wasn't erected while he…

Comment by Danny Gunz on 11-09-2013

I was at Joe Frazier's burial the other day he had a nice setup there

Comment by Mr. Philadel on 11-09-2013

[QUOTE=illmaticfighter;13913276]to late imo but he should have one still but Frazier should've had one years ago shame on philly.[/QUOTE] Never too late but yeah, the city dumbed out!!...they should take that William Penn statue down and replace it with Joe's

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