The City of Philadelphia announced that Lawrence J. Nowlan will be the artist to create a statue in honor of Joe Frazier. Mr. Nowlan previously created the Harry Kalas Memorial Statue at Citizens Bank Park. The statue is scheduled to be erected at XFINITY Live! by Spring 2014.
“I have no doubt that Lawrence Nowlan will capture Joe Frazier’s tenacity, energy and spirit in his work,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Mr. Nowlan’s previous work has proven to be exceptional, and I look forward to the finished product. Smokin’ Joe is one of Philadelphia’s great sports icons and deserves to be memorialized this way.
Eight artists were solicited for presentations. Then a statue review panel, which included several representatives from the Frazier family, selected Mr. Nowlan from among the presenting artists.
“To kids like me, growing up in Philadelphia in the 1970s, Joe Frazier was a hero. I became aware of Joe Frazier, the athlete and Smokin’ Joe, the personality during an era when the sweet science of boxing was at the forefront of the sporting world,” said Lawrence Nowlan. “To be selected by the Frazier family to create the monument that will forever represent one Philadelphia’s most enduring icons and greatest boxers is a heavyweight honor to me. Words cannot properly describe the gravity and meaning that sculpting this monument will have on this artist.”
The $160,000 raised will cover the cost of the statue and a perpetual maintenance fund administered by the City Board of Trusts. The major contributors to the project are as follows:
Cordish Family: $70,000;
Hand family: $27,000;
Bernard Hopkins and Golden Boy Productions: $25,000;
Jerry Perenchio: $25,000.
Reed Cordish of the Cordish Company said, “Along with Comcast Spectacor, owning and operating XFINITY Live! has been a great privilege and honor for our family. We welcome this new statue of one of the greatest boxers of all time to the iconic statues of Philadelphia sports heroes at XFINITY Live!. Being able to give back to the City by honoring one of its great sons is incredibly meaningful and gratifying for us.”
Joe Hand, Sr. of Joe Hand Promotions added, “Back in March 2012, I pledged that a statue would get built so I’m very happy to hear about the progress it has made with the help of Mayor Nutter and the city. Joe never complained or spoke out about not having a statue, but it bothered me. It’s about time we honored him. Joe deserves it. Philadelphia should be very proud of him.”