A campaign to raise money for local hero and boxing great Joe Frazier's statue has been initiated by Michael Nutter, the mayor of Philadelphia.
Joined by members of Frazier's family, Nutter praised the former heavyweight champion as a fearless, determined fighter and "a good human being" who gave back to the community.
AdvertisementFrazier, the heavyweight-boxing champion from 1970 to 1973, died last year of liver cancer at age 67.
"Joe Frazier fought as a Philadelphian, and now it's our turn to fight for Joe's memory by erecting a statue that captures his indomitable spirit," Politico quoted Nutter, as saying.
The 150,000-dollar fundraising goal includes money for maintenance of the memorial, which Nutter hopes to unveil by the end of 2013.
"Smokin' Joe" in 1971 became the first boxer to beat Muhammad Ali. They fought two more classic bouts, including 1975's "Thrilla in Manila."
Frazier's statue will be placed at Xfinity Live, an entertainment complex near Philadelphia's three sports stadiums.
The property lies in the footprint of the now-demolished Spectrum, an arena where Frazier fought.
Jeff Snyder, development director for the complex, announced a 25,000 dollar corporate donation Wednesday to kickstart the collections.