Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

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 News: Kai Robin Havnaa, Isiah Jones, Reece Cartwright, More World Boxing Council 147 Tournament - Stream Information Estrada Vows: Menayothin Will NOT Tie Mayweather's 50-0! Warren: Saunders' Domination of Lemieux Scared Off Golovkin Skeete: Spence is The Best at 147, Matthysse is The Weakest Link Photos: Rey Vargas Grinding Hard For Azat Hovhannisyan Clash Menard: I'll Show Everyone Devin Haney Took Too Big a Step Up Lomachenko: I Want To Show That Linares' Size Won't Matter Carlos Cuadras Vows To Overcome Battle With Drugs and Alcohol Keith Thurman Plans to Return From Hand Injury 'This Summer' Diaz: Gary Russell in For a 'Rude Awakening Come Fight Night' Sulecki: Danny Jacobs Won't Ever Repeat Golovkin Performance Vanes: I'll Test Golovkin's Chin, Not Run Like a 'Bad Steak' Guy! Parker Promoter Wants Him to Fight Bellew vs. Haye Winner Frank Warren on Frampton's Future, Tete's Lack of Fireworks Peter McDonagh Back From Ban, May 12 In Bolton De La Hoya: Canelo Will Wail on Golovkin For That Bullsh*t Ad! Vanes: This Fight Will Be Like Two Mexicans Going To War Wilder To Serve as Honorary Pace Car Driver at GEICO 500 Jacobs Reflects on Charlo Confrontation, Building Superstar Run Carlos Cuadras Enters Rehab To Deal With Drug Issues Loeffler's Hollywood Fight Night Series Returns on May 22 Photos: Lomachenko Putting in Work For Linares Showdown Keith Thurman Explains Why He Vacated The WBC World Title Chocolatito Appears Unlikely For Golovkin-Vanes Card Jessie Vargas Would Fight Broner in Texas - Rejects Idea of Ohio Saunders: Even if Canelo Beats GGG - He's Still a Cheat To Me News: Matias vs. Estrella Set, Zuhayr Al-Qahtani, Castillo, Villa Photos: Gary Russell, Joseph Diaz - Go Face To Face at Presser Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Unification Next, Says Sulaiman Keith Thurman Vacates WBC Title, Garcia-Porter Ordered Luis Ortiz vs. Dillian Whyte - WBC Final Eliminator Ordered Hearn: Daniel Jacobs Likes The Jermall Charlo Fight Golovkin: 'We'll See' About Having Canelo Rematch in September Adonis Stevenson: I Look Forward To Knocking Badou Jack Out! Broner-Vargas Telecast Peaked at 891,000 Viewers on Showtime Murray: Warren Does My Head In, Must Stop GGG-Saunders Talk Lewis Ritson vs. Paul Hyland, Josh Kelly vs. Kris George - June 16 Claressa Shields vs. Hanna Gabriels Set For June 22, Showtime Dmitry Bivol's Future Plans are Detailed By His Manager
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement