XFINITY Live! Philadelphia is set to unveil a new 12-foot bronze statue commemorating Joe Frazier, one of the most iconic Philadelphia athletes in history, during a free, open-to-the-public ceremony at XFINITY Live! on Saturday, September 12 at 1 p.m. XFINITY Live! and Joe Hand Promotions were the lead contributors for this memorial.
Statue artist Stephen Layne recreated Frazier in mid-punch, depicting the moment after Frazier landed the punch that knocked down Muhammad Ali in the 15th round, on March 8, 1971. Frazier was the first fighter to defeat Ali.
“I found my inspiration in a photo of Frazier flooring Ali with his powerful left hook,” Layne said. “The moment captured in the sculpture reflects the work ethic of Frazier and the city he called home.”
Frazier won the 1964 Olympic gold medal in Tokyo and later finished with a professional record of 32-4-1, with 27 knockouts. Two of the losses were epic rematches with Ali, including the “Thrilla in Manila” in 1975. Frazier also participated in the first sporting event ever at the Spectrum, on October 17, 1967, winning with a knockout over Tony Doyle.
The City of Philadelphia commissioned Layne as the sculptor of the Joe Frazier Memorial Statue. He began with a 12-foot tall clay model, and upon approval, constructed a silicone mold. He then began the highly skilled bronze foundry work, finishing the over 1,200-pound bronze monument in 14-months. The process was proudly produced, created and constructed in the United States by Stratton Sculpture Studios of Philadelphia.
The new Frazier statue joins five other iconic Philadelphia sports moments, including Philadelphia Flyers’ Gary Dornhoefer’s overtime playoff goal against the Minnesota North Stars in 1973; longtime Flyers’ good luck charm Kate Smith singing her iconic version of God Bless America; 76ers legend Julius Erving taking a signature shot, Flyers’ greats Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent hosting the Stanley Cup commemorating of the team’s 1974 and 1975 championships, and Flyers all-time winningest coach Fred Shero.