Joe Frazier is one of the most accomplished boxer to come out of Philadelphia, but he isn’t the fighter with a statue on the steps of the Art Museum. That honor belongs to Rocky, the fictional character from the popular Sylvester Stallone movie. But now, nearly a year after Frazier’s death, his hometown is finally getting around to giving him the honor that he deserves.
A statue honoring Joe Frazier is being planned by the city of Philadelphia.
Stan Hochman, a sportswriter in Philly, told the NY Times:
“There’s a statue of Rocky, a movie prop, at the Art Museum, but nothing to honor a legitimate heavyweight champion who came out of Philadelphia.”
Philly.com reports that the Joe Frazier statue will be unveiled by 2013. An official announcement is scheduled next week and a website, Frazierstatue.com, will go live on Friday to solicit donations. Richard Hayden, who is representing Frazier’s estate, said that the Frazier statue will be located near the Xfinity Live! complex in South Philadelphia.
After Frazier’s death, several people complained that Philly had a statue of Rocky but not one of Frazier.
Rev. Jesse Jackson said:
“Rocky is fictitious. Joe was reality. Rocky’s fists are frozen in stone. Joe’s fists were smokin’.”
Philly.com notes that the Rocky statue wasn’t commissioned by the city of Philadelphia. It was left as a gift by Sylvester Stallone after the movie became a success.