It was billed as the “Fight of the Century” yet managed to outperform the hype.
And on Monday night, the legendary 1971 battle in which Philadelphia boxing legend Joe Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali to become the undisputed champion of the world will be screened during “Fight Night at City Hall.”
It is part of a $1,000/plate event to raise funds to cover the cost of a planned Smokin’ Joe statue in the stadium district.
In the time since those plans were announced with a call for donations in September, the FrazierStatue.com effort has netted $55,000 of the $150,000 goal necessary for the statue and its upkeep.
Erica Atwood, the city’s external-affairs and community-engagement specialist, said that total includes the initial $25,000 donated by Xfinity Live on announcement day and $5,000 from “everyday citizens and boxing fans alike.”
According to the Daily News, West Coast promoter Jerry Perenchio announced a $25,000 contribution this week in advance of the event as well.
Bernard Hopkins, a Philadelphia boxing legend in his own right, told NewsWorks in September that he was dismayed with the slow fundraising pace, called on people to give and vowed to contribute as much as necessary to see the statue become reality.
That number will drop considerably next week as the goal of the City Hall event is to raise $50,000.
Philadelphia attorney, and Frazier estate spokesman, Richard Hayden is handling the invitations for Monday’s event in Conversation Hall for which Mayor Michael Nutter told NewsWorks on Friday that he would “be there in a ringside seat.”
Design proposals are due on Nov. 30 for a statue expected to be complete by the end of 2013.
NewsWorks will have coverage from Monday night’s event.