Advertisement
Advertisement

Joe Frazier's Statue Set To Be Unveiled in April 2015

The 2.7m statue of Joe Frazier is nearing completion and is expected to be unveiled in April next year.

Artist Stephen Layne, who has been working in the statue since March, plans to finish the clay work by the end of this month. It will then be moulded, cast in bronze and erected at an entertainment complex near three sports stadiums in Philadelpia.

Two of the former heavyweight champion’s daughters, Weatta Collins and Renae Martin, say they are thrilled with Layne's work. “It's really long overdue," Collins said this week. "We're happy that it's finally being done."

The statue, which will weigh 816kg, is unlike the Rocky statue in the same city.

Steering clear of the victorious, raised-arms stance of "Rocky", Layne found his motivation in a photograph of "Smokin' Joe" flooring Muhammad Ali with his powerful left hook. "That pose of glory, the Rocky pose, I don't think that's quite the vibe of Philadelphia," says Layne.

Busloads of tourists line up every day to take pictures at the statue of Rocky Balboa, the fictional heavyweight made famous by Sylvester Stallone. Whether visitors will line up for pictures with a sculpture of the real hometown champion is a question to be answered.

"Properly promoted, I think it would be much, much bigger than Rocky," says Robin Hazel, a visitor from Ottawa. "'Rocky' is great, it's a movie. But Joe Frazier's real. And he's Philadelphia."

The Frazier sculpture will be erected off the tourist track, about 8km south of the Rocky statue, which stands at the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps that Stallone ran up in a Rocky film.

Frazier’s family members are working with tourism officials to ensure sightseeing maps include the boxing memorial.

The plans to erect a statue of Frazier was first announced two years ago but almost ran aground because of fundraising problems and the sudden death of the original sculptor. Layne, 46, won the commission the second time around and began working in March.

The artist, who was raised in the city and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he has also lectured, says he felt drawn to the Frazier project because of the shared Philadelphia connection.

"It was so obvious that he was completely willing to get beat up ... so that he could achieve what he wanted," Layne said. "And I thought that was just an inspirational thing to watch."

Frazier became the first fighter to beat Muhammad Ali when he outslugged "The Greatest" in a bout for the heavyweight title in 1971.

He had won a gold medal at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo and finished with a professional record of 32-4, with one draw and 27 knockouts. Two of the defeats were memorable rematches with Ali, including the "Thrilla in Manila" in 1975.

When Frazier died of liver cancer three years ago at the age of 67, his place had long been cemented in sports history. Still, a public fundraising campaign for his memorial generated few contributions. Four donors provided most of the $160 000 for the statue and its maintenance fund.

Tags: boxing image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by berzerk on 09-03-2014

nice about time

Comment by BattlingNelson on 09-03-2014

[QUOTE=New England;14908104]shades of andre ward. frazier is not quite on the prince, but nobody is perfect.[/QUOTE] Should they ever make a statue out of him, it would be based on him landing the decisive final flying headbutt on Mikkel Kessler.…

Comment by bojangles1987 on 09-03-2014

[QUOTE=HughJass;14906577] For all you young ones![/QUOTE] That was the first fight I ever saw. It's every bit as amazing now as it was then. Two of the best ever.

Comment by MrRolltide91 on 09-03-2014

About time

Comment by New England on 09-03-2014

[QUOTE=BattlingNelson;14908059]One of boxings great left hooks. The timing here is perfect. Awesome gif. I can't stop watching.[/QUOTE] shades of andre ward. frazier is not quite on the prince, but nobody is perfect.

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (29)
Top Headlines Casimero: I Can Drop Chocolatito Just Like I Dropped Ruenroeng! Video: Shane Mosley vs. Cruiserweight Dimar Ortuz - Sparring Eddie Hearn Believes Ricky Burns is Still The Same Fighter Whyte Says Chisora Punked Out, Backed Down From Challenge WBC Prez Applauds Pacquiao For Turning Back on Olympic Offer Haye vs. Gjergjaj Peaked at 2.5 Million Viewers For Channel Dave Hearn: Everton Event Will Be Great For Community WBO Purse Bid Ordered for Glowacki vs. Usyk Jarrell Miller Rips Joshua, Fury, Luis Ortiz, Parker, Andy Ruiz Too Joel Diaz: Bradley Had No Game Plan, Looked Lost and Confused Eubank Jr: Golovkin is Slow, Easy To Hit - His Power Can't Beat Me! Makabu Confident: Tony Bellew Has NOTHING Special For Me Frank Warren Slams David Haye's Recent Win, Briggs Fight Micki Nielsen Vows To Win Entire 'Super 4' Tournament Fury's Coach: Parker is a Very Serious Test For Anthony Joshua Steven Lewis Aims To Make Statement on Echo Arena Card Radmir Akhmediyev, Pablo Cruz Get Big Wins in Houston Povetkin Not Backing Down: We'll Do Everything To Get Wilder! Anthony Ogogo - Sauerland, De La Hoya Expect Big Things Tyrone Nurse Says Willie Limond Will Never Make it To Ricky Burns Arum Praises Pacquiao For Rejecting Offer To Fight in Olympics Roach Backs Canelo: Golovkin The Best, But Brings NO Money! Donnie Nietes, Raul Garcia Make Weight - Melindo is Way Over Photos: Shane Mosley, David Avanesyan Putting in Work For Battle Demetrius Andrade Focused: My Time's Gonna Come Photos/Weights: Jarrell Miller vs. Nick Guivas, Dela Torre, More Roach Feels Chavez Jr. - If in Shape - Could Test Gennady Golovkin Errol Spence: Vargas Will Need KO or Beat Brook's Ass To Win in UK Daniel Jacobs-Sergio Mora Rematch on The Horizon? Lucian Bute Reacts To Failed Drug Test, Will Open His B-Sample Bob Arum Offers To Stage Trump vs. Sanders Debate on PPV Cohen Feels Jarrell Miller is The Best Young American Heavyweight Deontay Wilder-Chris Arreola in Play For Summer Showdown Video: Joseph Diaz Discusses His Career, The Future, More Et Tu, Bute? Former Champ in Hot Water After Failing Drug Test Video: Sergio Mora Discusses Golovkin, Canelo, Jacobs, More Frank Warren: Not in a Million Years Does Eubank Jr. Beat Golovkin Phil Lo Greco-Joseph Elegele Tops PBC on Bounce, June 12th Lucian Bute Fails Drug Test, Positive For Ostarine in Jack Draw Gerald Washington: Deontay Wilder Title Fight is 'Very Possible'
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement