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Statue Honoring Smokin' Joe Frazier Unveiled In South Philly

By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Move over Rocky! Philadelphia has a new statue, this one honoring a real boxer who called this city home.

The new Joe Frazier was unveiled Saturday outside XFINITY Live! in South Philly.

A ten-bell salute was given to honor the boxer who died nearly four years ago.



Mayor Michael Nutter was among the participants at the ceremony.

"I have been waiting for this day for more than 40 years," he said, "and few athletes represent the heart and soul of Philadelphia like Joe Frazier."

Members of the Frazier family helped unveil the twelve-foot bronze statue, which was shrouded with a green tarp.


frazier statue 4
(Credit: John McDevitt)


"I want to say praise God for what he has done," said Frazier's son, Marvis. "It took a little time, but it's here and the Frazier's say thank you."

The sculpture depicts the moment after Smokin' Joe landed the punch that knocked down Muhammad Ali in the 15th round in 1971. Frazier was the first fighter to defeat Ali.

The statue stands where the Spectrum once was. Frazier participated in the first sporting event ever there in 1967, winning with a knockout over Tony Doyle.

The Frazier statue joins others, including Kate Smith, Julius Erving, Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent.


frazier statue 1
(Credit: John McDevitt)
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