Move over, Rocky. Make way for Smokin' Joe.
The mayor of Philadelphia kicked off a campaign Wednesday to raise money for a statue of hometown boxing great Joe Frazier, a tribute he called ''long overdue.''
Joined by members of Frazier's family, Mayor Michael Nutter praised the onetime heavyweight champion as a fearless, determined fighter and ''a good human being'' who gave back to the community. Frazier 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,'' Nutter said.
The $150,000 fundraising goal includes money for maintenance of the memorial, which Nutter hopes to unveil by the end of 2013.
''Smokin' Joe'' slugged his way to the heavyweight title in 1971 by becoming the first boxer to beat Muhammad Ali. They fought two more classic bouts, including 1975's ''Thrilla in Manila.'' Frazier lost both rematches.
On Wednesday, his eldest daught...