Statue honoring the late Joe Frazier finally in the works

Kevin Iole
Boxing Experts Blog

It's almost impossible to believe that a statue of a fictional boxer has stood outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 2006, yet there is no tribute to be found anywhere in the city to the greatest Philly fighter of them all, Smokin' Joe Frazier.

Plans are underway to finally honor Frazier with a statue, reported Wednesday.

Actor Sylvester Stallone commissioned the statue of himself in the role of the fictional fighter, Rocky Balboa, in 1982 while he was filming Rocky III. It has stood outside the Museum of Art for six years and is a popular tourist attraction.

But at Frazier's funeral in November, the Rev. Jesse Jackson expressed the outrage that many in the sport felt that there was no statue commemorating Frazier's legendary career.

Rocky is fictitious. Joe was reality. Rocky's fists are frozen in stone. Joe's fists were smokin'

Frazier was born in Beaufort, S.C., but was as Philly as the Eagles, soft pretzels and cheesesteaks.

He defeated Muhammad Ali in "The Fight of the Century" on March 8, 1971, in what remains in some experts' minds the most significant fight in boxing history.

Once his career was over, Frazier was a tireless advocate for the city and its citizens.

It's beyond time the city recognized his contributions and significance.

The statue is being planned for South Philadelphia and will stand in front of Xfinity Live. A website,, will be launched on Friday where donations can be made to help move the process along.

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