Philadelphia unveils Joe Frazier-Muhammad Ali statue from 'Fight of the Century'

March 9 (UPI) -- A north Philadelphia gym celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Fight of the Century between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali when it unveiled a 7-foot-high, lifelike statue depiction of the iconic 1971 boxing bout.

Joe Hand Gym, in Feasterville, Pa., unveiled the statue Monday, five decades after the undefeated rivals matched up for the first time March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


Frazier won the 15-round fight by unanimous decision to remain undefeated (27-0) as Ali dropped to 31-1.

Ali went on to beat Frazier in 1974 and 1975 rematches.

Frazier's family attended the statue presentation.

"It's one of my biggest responsibilities to make sure his legacy continues," Weatta Frazier Collins, one of Frazier's daughters, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"Especially in the city of Philadelphia. Philadelphia has always been a sports town, but it was a bigger sports town from this sole individual that took the time out to say, 'You know what? This is my home.'"

Frazier, also known as "Smokin' Joe," was born in Beaufort, S.C. He fought from 1965 to 1981 and was the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973.


He retired in 1976 with a career record of 42-4-1. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

Frazier died Nov. 7, 2011, in Philadelphia amid a battle with liver cancer. He was 67.

Ali was born in Louisville, Ky. He fought from 1960 to 1981, had a record of 56-5-0 and is regarded as arguably the greatest boxer in history. Ali died in 2016 at age 74. He had battled Parkinson's syndrome.

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