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Artist chosen for Philadelphia statue of boxer Joe Frazier

Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

A statue of onetime heavyweight champion Joe Frazier will be erected in Philadelphia in 2014.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- An artist has been chosen to create a Philadelphia statue in honor of late hometown boxing great Joe Frazier.

Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement Wednesday that Lawrence Nowlan will create the statue to be erected by spring 2014 at an entertainment complex near Philadelphia's three sports stadiums near the now-demolished Spectrum, an arena where Frazier fought.

Nutter said he was sure that Nowlan, who created the Harry Kalas Memorial Statue at Citizens Bank Park, would capture the "tenacity, energy and spirit'' of Frazier, who died in November 2011 of liver cancer.

"Smokin' Joe'' 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 1975's "Thrilla in Manila.'' Frazier lost both rematches.

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