South Jersey’s Rocky
Camden Waterfront gets a statue of Jersey Joe Walcott

The Philadelphia Art Museum has the iconic Rocky statue. And now the Camden Waterfront has an 8-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Jersey Joe Walcott, a true-to-life underdog who became a boxing legend. “He was a real life Rocky and never backed down,” Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. said during an unveiling ceremony in Wiggins Park. “He didn’t back down against the best fighters in the world to become the champ and didn’t back down against institutional racism to become the first African American Sheriff in Camden County history.”

Jersey Joe, whose real name was Arnold Cream, boxed professionally from 1930 until 1953, achieving the world heavyweight title in 1951. At 37, he was the oldest man to hold the title until George Foreman, at 45, broke the record in 1994.

Vincent Cream describes his grandfather as the real-life embodiment of grit and resilience. “My grandfather was the heavyweight champion of the world and devoted his life to making the city a better place,” Cream says. “Moving forward, kids can visit this monument and see what a true, real-life, role model looks like.”

 

December 2021
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