Smokin’ Tribute

Joe Frazier Statue Rising in Philly

Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa character may be the boxing hero most people conjure when they think of famous Philadelphia prizefighters, but the city’s trying to change that. Artist Stephen Layne is finishing a 9-foot clay sculpture of the late pugilist, who was nicknamed Smokin’ Joe, that captures the man in mid-punch. And he hopes all the tourists who come to see and be photographed with a statue of Rocky will be at least as keen to take selfies with a real hometown boxing champ. Frazier, who died three years ago, was famous for his epic clashes in the ring with Muhammad Ali, notably 1975’s “Thrilla in Manila.” The 1,800-pound statue is expected to be unveiled next spring.