View Count: 156 |  Publish Date: April 04, 2014
Hopkins announces Frazier statue donation
JAKE KAPLAN, Daily News Staff Writer Posted: Friday, April 4, 2014, 3:01 AM
PHILADELPHIA is one step closer to getting its Joe Frazier statue. Fellow Philly boxing legend Bernard Hopkins and Golden Boy Promotions yesterday announced a significant donation to fund the completion of the project. The statue, expected to be unveiled between Thanksgiving and Christmas, will stand on the corner of Pattison Avenue and 11th Street, outside XFINITY Live!
Hopkins, the IBF light-heavyweight champion, said in a statement that seeing this statue built has meant a great deal to me for a very long time.
I have always felt strongly that Smokin Joe has a rightful place in Philadelphia history and that should be honored, he said. We have a Rocky statue and Rocky isnt even real. Joe Frazier embodies the Philadelphia fighting spirit and I am so happy to be able to pay homage to him in this way.
The statue of Frazier, who died Nov. 7, 2011 of liver cancer, will depict his reaction following his 1971 knockdown of Muhammad Ali. Local artist Stephen Layne is responsible for the statues design, approved in December by the Philadelphia Art Commission.
We firmly believe in preserving the great history and heritage of our sport and there is no better way than honoring some of the legends that have paved the way for the fighters today, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said in a statement. Joe Frazier is one of the all-time greats and we are pleased to be a part of this project.
Also yesterday, Hopkins and his upcoming opponent, Kazakhstan native Beibut Shumenov, spoke to reporters on a teleconference regarding their April 19 light-heavyweight unification bout at the DC Armory in Washington. Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KOs) dominated the nearly hourlong conversation, his opponent being more guarded when asked several times about his preparations for the fight.
I want to fight the best, said Shumenov (14-1, 9 KOs), who owns the WBA and IBA titles. Its my goal to unify all the championship belts.
My whole thing is, as Beibut said, he wanted to unify the titles, Hopkins said. Im answering that call because I want to do the same damn thing.
Already the recordholder as the oldest boxer to win and defend titles, Hopkins, 49, is looking to become the oldest to unify world titles. If Hopkins defeats Shumenov, its expected he would next fight Adonis Stevenson (23-1, 20 KOs), if the WBC titleholder first beats Andrzej Fonfara on May 24.
Im looking to be the winner and Im looking to make history, Hopkins said. And the most historic place on this map and these United States is D.C. What better place to make history than D.C.?
Hopkins said he likes the matchup the 30-year-old Shumenov presents, and added he sees opportunities for a knockout. There is no boxing style Hopkins hasnt seen, he said, so theres nothing that could surprise him.
Im looking for a battle, Hopkins said. When its all said and done, I want to be raising - and am going to be raising - my hand. In victory.
On Twitter: @jakemkaplan
JAKE KAPLANDaily News Staff Writer #post2 .pw-icon.ra1-pw-icon-reddit {background: url() 0px 0px no-repeat !important;width: 60px !important;height: 20px !important;margin-right:8px;}#post2 .pw-icon.ra1-pw-icon-email {background: url() 0px 0px no-repeat !important;width: 71px !important;height: 28px !important;}0 commentsReprints & Permissions »

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