Rocky may find himself with some stiff competition next year when a new statue of Smokin’ Joe Frazier goes up in South Philadelphia’s sports complex. Who should be next in line to be commemorated in sculpture?
It turns out Rocky has not seen the end of his competitive days. A nonfiction boxer will take on the big guy in 2013 when a new statue of one-time heavyweight champion Smokin’ Joe Frazier is erected at Xfinity Live! in the South Philadelphia sports complex, as city officials announced Wednesday.
The new addition will find itself in some world-class company. The Association for Public Art (formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association) has claimed that Philadelphia has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other city in America.
So who do you think should be next in line to cast in bronze or carved from marble? Where in the city should it stand?
The Rocky statue outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a tourist no-brainer — families line up daily, waiting to raise their arms for a snapshot in the shadow of Sylvester Stallone’s bronze likeness; children bound up the front steps of the museum to their victory dance at the top, like Rocky did, while their parents lunge and pant behind them.
There’s already a statue of a boxer in South Philly, this one a former middleweight champion. At 13th Street and East Passyunk Avenue, you’ll see a statue of Joey Giardello dedicated to the “Top 50 South Philly boxers of Italian ancestry” — with a plaque that lists all 50 names, lest we forget.
Frazier’s statue will be placed about 7 miles south of his gym, 2917 N Broad St., which now houses a furniture store and is considered one of America’s most endangered historic places.
Who else, in your estimation, deserves the statue treatment?