People have raise $70,000 for the statue of Joey Giardello at 13th and Mifflin Streets.
While tourists flock to the Rocky Balboa statue at the Art Museum, Philadelphia City Council has given the nod to a group that wants to put a bronze marker to a lesser known real-life Philly boxing legend at 13th Street and Mifflin Streets in South Philadelphia.
John DiSanto knows a lot about what a great boxer Joey Giardello was. He says Giardello, who was born in New York and became a Philly boxing legend, deserves to be remembered with a statute near the gym where he trained.
“The main part of the statue is the figure of Joey Giardello in the ring sort of following through on a punch, a right hand punch. There’s panels that list other South Philadelphia boxing landmarks. It could be a bit of tourist attraction. There’s a lot of different story lines running through the history of Philadelphia. Boxing is one of the big ones and this is a first step in really kind of trying to promote that history.”
DiSanto says he expects the Giardello statue will be put in place this fall.
He says he’d like to see a monument to boxing legend Joe Frazier, but it will take a lot of work.
Councilman Frank DiCicco says a group of people. including former boxers, approached him with the statue idea.
“Many boxers came out of here that’s for sure, but Joey was one of those individuals that kind of when you think of South Philadelphia boxers, he’s probably the first name that comes to mind.