Sylvester Stallone’s fictional character, Rocky Balboa, in the memorable film, “Rocky” is what many will conjure up when they think about a Philadelphia-born prizefighter, but the City of Brotherly Love is working on changing that. Artist Stephen Layne is in the final stages of completing a 9-foot tall, 1,800-pound clay sculpture of the late boxing great Joe “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier as a tribute to the hometown champ, according Fox 23.
The former World heavyweight champ, who passed away three years ago at age 67 from liver cancer, was actually born in Beaufort, South Carolina but settled in Philly and called the city home.
The statue project came to fruition two years ago but there were stumbling blocks along the way. The original sculptor passed away and then fundraising efforts to pay for the endeavor hit a brick wall. Finally, Layne was commissioned to finish the project, after four private donors ponied up $160,000, and the process resumed again in March.
The sculpture will be placed about five miles south of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Frazier’s daughter, Weatta Collins, is reportedly working with tourism officials to have her dad’s memorial will be included on sightseeing maps.
The statue will reportedly be unveiled next spring.
article by Ruth Manuel-Logan via newsone.com
Former heavyweight champions Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield have come a long way since 1997, when Tyson bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear in the third round and was disqualified in their infamous championship rematch. Over the years, they have put their ill feelings for each other to bed and even appeared in a recent television commercial spoofing the biting incident.
Tyson, who will hand Holyfield his Hall of Fame trophy, called the opportunity to present Holyfield a “privilege and high honor.”
Holyfield is also looking forward to it. “That’s great,” he said of Tyson’s participation.
Rich Marotta, a longtime boxing broadcaster and president of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, said: “This is the kind of thing we showed is possible in boxing last year at our inaugural induction ceremony — former and even current rivals coming together under the same roof to celebrate boxing. Everyone checks those rivalries at the door. Tyson presenting Holyfield is sheer magic.”
Holyfield is being enshrined in the non-Nevada-resident category, along with George Foreman and Roberto Duran, as voted on by a 35-member panel.
Tyson was inducted in the Nevada resident category in the inaugural ceremony in 2013. Holyfield and Tyson both fought many of their biggest fights in Las Vegas.
The rest of the 18-man class of 2014, which was announced in February, includes Sonny Liston and Cornelius Boza Edwards (Nevada-resident boxers category), Jack Dempsey and Archie Moore (pioneers), Joe Louis (adoptive Nevada resident), trainer Miguel Diaz (non-boxers), Richard Steele and Kenny Bayless (officials), Col. Bob Sheridan and Kevin Iole (media), Bruce Trampler (promotions), Chuck Minker and Luther Mack (executives), and Clifford Perlman and Steve Wynn (special contributors).
article by Dan Rafael via espn.com