Philadelphia building nine-foot tall Joe Frazier statue

Tuesday September 2nd, 2014

A statue of former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier is being built by a Philadelphia artist and is scheduled to be unveiled in the city sometime next spring, according to the Associated Press.

The effort to honor Frazier, who resided in Philadelphia, was announced two years ago. After the original artist died, Stephen Layne won the commission to build the statue and began working on it in March.

Frazier, who died in 2011, was heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973 and won a gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. He's also remembered for his three fights against rival Muhammad Ali.

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The Frazier statue will join the iconic Rocky statue in the city. More from the AP

Steering clear of the victorious, raised arms stance of the Rocky statue - which was originally a prop in "Rocky III" - Layne instead found his spark in a photo of Frazier flooring Ali with his powerful left hook. The moment captured in the sculpture reflects the work ethic of Frazier and the city he called home, said Layne.

The statue will be placed at Xfinity Live, an entertainment complex near Philadelphia's three professional sports stadiums.

Layne said he plans to have it finished by the end of September. After it is molded and cast in bronze the statue will likely be unveiled in April.

Ben Estes


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