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Joe Frazier To Be Honored With Statue In Philly

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Heavyweight boxing champ Joe Frazier has long been a figure of importance in Philadelphia, but during his best athletic years, he was never honored in a way that would continue his legacy in the city. After his death last November of liver cancer, many think it’s now an imperative.

“We have a whole generation of Philadelphia sports fans who need to be educated on Frazier’s career,” Richard Hayden, liaison for Frazier’s estate, said.

Now, it looks like fans will get their wish. A statue honoring Frazier will be placed in the Xfinity Live! complex in South Philadelphia sometime next year; a website called FrazierStatue.com will be launched at the end of this week to garner donations for the project, which will also be helped along by the city.

Frazier’s athletic prowess isn’t the only reason to erect a statue in his honor, those who knew him claim; he was simply a really good guy, the man you called when you needed something, and he never asked for anything in return.

“Whether it was the mayor calling on him or a charity calling on him, he never said no, and he never asked to be paid,” former Philadelphia mayor Edward Rendell said.

Since Frazier’s death, some individuals are also looking into turning his old gym–in North Philly–into a historic site. Dennis Playdon, a professor at Temple University, got involved when he noticed a “For Sale” sign on the building and began researching what it will take to have the gym listed as a place of importance in the city.

“It occurred to me this was going to be an endangered building, and Joe Frazier’s Gym shouldn’t be lost,” said Playdon.

Joe Frazier To Be Honored With Statue In Philly
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  • Walt Stout

    I was a big fan of “Smokin Joe”. He was a great champion and a great man. He had a vicious left hook and, I loved to watch him fight..I am glad to see a statue of him erected in Philly. When it comes to boxing, he put Philly on the map!

  • http://yahoo Michael Trimmer

    I guess that is cool, he may as well follow Ali, because he did in the ring

  • http://yahoo Jan Michael Glover

    He was a great champion and was the first to visit to beat the greatests Muhammad Ali. They with out one there is none. Joe made Ali and visa versa. Hat’s off to Philly for honoring and paying tribute to this great man and champion…

  • Earle Graham

    It’s great that the great Joe Frazier will have a monument to his legacy. This is coming from a staunch Muhammad Ali fan, who hated Joe when he defeated Ali. It is a shame that Philly built a statue to a FAKE “rocky” based on a bs movie, and not a REAL champion such as Smoking Joe Frazier!

  • Mr Agoo

    This reminds me of Bill Burr’s rant in Philly

  • ray washington

    Way to go Philly, Smokin Joe is truly one of the best I have had the joy to see a good man and a great boxer a son of sharecroppers who worked hard to succeed lived with honor and dignity a true champion of life.

  • left hook

    Frazier was a true Philadelphia fighter. Fought hard, gave it his all and was a real champion. Always rooted for smokin Joe whenever he fought Ali. He put Ali down in the 15th round in that memorable first fight and won the heavyweight crown. Way to go Philadelphia for honoring and honorable man. A modest Joe would nod his head in approval.

  • ED

    Joe was a class act, I have his autograph. My daughter saw him at a restaurant and when she found out who he was she told him I thought he was the greatest fighter I ever saw. Joe asked her simply, “What’s your father’s name?” and he signed the autograph “To Ed”, Like I said, he had real class and you can bet that I will contribute to his statue. It’s about time. Don’t be too hard on “Rocky”, he’ll contribute to it too.

  • john CARTER

    I SAW ALI THE OTHER DAY AND HE TOLD ME…….IT AINT OVER JOE!!!!!

  • http://yahoo DAVID CAMPBELL

    great thought a noble champion an caring man thank you joe for the memories

  • Keith B

    Joe was our dad’s all-time favorite boxer whose character,work ethic and love of family and community was an inspiration for all of us
    growing up on Bayard St,Mt Airy Philly…

  • whats YOUR Name?

    just dont go and sell smoking cheese steaks right next to it. one of the best nicknames of all time to…if i say smoking joe..you know who im tlaking about. and theirs a whoooooole lotta joes out there, ok, thx for listening…

    • Chris Foster

      You are right, nut one mistake…it’s smokin’ Joe not smoking Joe.

      • Chris Foster

        but

  • kendra

    i am glad for this tribute but it should either be by the blue horizon where fights were (are held) or by his gym. bring folks out of south philly.

  • kevin mccarthy

    Should have been done along time ago.

  • n

    kinder late., u think

  • bill

    It has been a long time coming. Joe Frazier, the MAN with the left hook. He HIT like a Mack Truck. Took solid beating from ALI. Defeated ALI, and i have respect for both of these MEN. It is about time the Champ Joe Frazier is receiving a statue.

  • Tom

    This made my day!! Joe had a lot of traits to be copied like being humble, hard-working, well-dressed, heart to the max, and on and on! Im really happy about this, even though hall of fames and statues are political and people should stay realistic about them. March 8, 1971: “The winner by unanimous decision—-Joe Fraaaaaaazier!”

  • raoul short

    He was a great fighter and man. RIP

  • Johnny G

    Smokin’ Joe was Philadelphia Boxing. The 1970′s were the Golden Age of Philly sports: Sixers, Phils, Flyers and Eagles. Some great Philly fighters like Matt Franklin aka Matthew Saad Muhammed as well. TSOP to boot! RIP Joe long overdue. Joe brought helped bring Ali back.

  • Larry D. Miller

    Joe Frazier epitomized boxing with heart, courage, and humbleness toward all men.Even when Ali was struggling to make ends meet financially, after being stripped of his title, it was joe who put the money in his hand to help and thus, the greatest confrontation in boxing was created.This man was a gift from God!

  • Terry

    Finally !!!!
    At Least ” The REAL Blue Collar’s Hero”.
    When THIS MAN Fought, He Left Them in Pain!!

    This “JOE” Statue will Stand Forever in Pride, not ratings or movies!

    There was NO DOUBT when He entered the ring.

    Thanks for everything Joe, You shared God’s Talents with Pure Love..

  • J Taylor

    The memory of those days was great. Joe Frazer will always be my favorite boxer. He just was in that era of great feeling. I loved the way Howard Cosell said his name Joe Frazer. A true guy of humanity.
    A great champion from Philadelphia.

  • Robbie-G

    Just finished reading ‘Ghosts of Manilla’…chronicles the events leading up to and after Joe and Ali’s epic fight. Joe was a great fighter, and a ‘Real Man’! Long time comin’ Joe…You richly deserve this…RIP.

  • stefano greenberg

    Its been a long time overdue.
    RIP….Smoking Joe & The Knockouts!

  • http://ALPHA-OMEGAINSURANCE.COM GREG PATEREK

    JOE FRAZIER WAS THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME NOT ALI

    • Ray

      slow down…
      great fighter but not greatest…

  • Rick

    Joe? Is that the man who taught us that color don’t mean anything anymore? Joe is just a person who reminds me of “Stop the Racism” dude.. We live with everyone.. Time for Joe to say the same thing.. Racism is over.. Time to fight back.. It’s over people.. It’s over now..

  • Devery Fairbanks

    Joe Frazier was a true professional. He was a guy who truly respected his craft. He trained hard in the gym so he would be prepared in the ring. He put in the time, he didn’t make excuses for missing workouts. He sparred, skipped rope, shadow-boxed, did sit-ups, hit the speed bag and heavy bag, and did his running in the morning. And when the bell rang he was ready to box 15 rounds. He never took a step back and he never took a round off. That is why he gave other boxers hell.

    Muhamad Ali once said that, of all the fighters he fought, the one who made him work the hardest was Joe Frazier. And that if he was ever down in a foxhole, fighting in a war, the soldier he would want fighting next to him would be Joe Frazier, because he knew that Joe would fight hard. Joe was a man he could count on, a man with a lot of courage. He knew that Joe Frazier was a warrior.

    As long as I’m writing here, I should mention that one of the best documentary films of all time is the HBO production “Ali-Frazier I, America Divisible.” The story of the “Fight of the Century” Ali-Frazier I, at Madison Square Garden, March 8, 1971.
    It is the best boxing film I’ve ever watched, and I’ve watched a few.

    • Chris Foster

      Great writing Devery. Inspirational. You clearly know what you are talking about. I’m going to find that website and make a donation for the statue and/or Joe Frazier’s Gym which I drove by many a time. Joe always made me proud to be from Philly.

  • Al

    This is a great honor for a great champion. But it’s too bad this wasn’t done while Joe Frazier was still alive.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Scott

    It is fitting that Joe Frazier be honored this way. His contribution to the sports world deserves this monumental tribute. As a proud Philadelphian, I salute this noble effort.