For years a statue of the fictional Rocky Balboa has adorned the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a hollow ode to the very real pugilistic history of one of America's greatest boxing cities. Yesterday morning, Philadelphia finally paid its respects to one of its greatest legends, Joe Frazier, by giving him his own statue in the midst of the city's stadium complex.
CBS Philly reports that Joe's son Marvis Frazier, along with the rest of the Frazier family, were there to unveil the statue.
The twelve foot tall statue, designed by Stephen Layne, depicts Frazier following through on the left hook that floored Muhammad Ali in their historic 1971 fight, quite possibly the greatest moment of Frazier's incredible career, and the defining moment of his greatest victory.
Philly's own Bernard Hopkins, along with Golden Boy Promotions (of which he is part-owner), donated significantly to the completion of the statue last year. "Seeing this statue built has meant a great deal to me for a very long time," said Hopkins after making the donation. "I have always felt strongly that Smokin' Joe has a rightful place in Philadelphia history, and that should be honored. We have a Rocky statue and Rocky isn't even real. Joe Frazier embodies the Philadelphia fighting spirit and I am so happy to be able to pay homage to him in this way."