New Bronze Statue Celebrates West End Boxing Legend Ezzard Charles

The statue of Charles rests in a new plaza in Ezzard Charles Park, which has been renamed from Laurel Park.

click to enlarge A crowd gathers around the newly unveiled Ezzard Charles statue in Ezzard Charles Park in Cincinnati's West End on Oct. 1, 2022. - Photo: Provided by Cincinnati Parks
Photo: Provided by Cincinnati Parks
A crowd gathers around the newly unveiled Ezzard Charles statue in Ezzard Charles Park in Cincinnati's West End on Oct. 1, 2022.

There's a new spot where Cincinnati boxing fans can go to reminisce about one of the city's greats.

City officials unveiled a bronze statue of World Heavyweight Champion boxer Ezzard Charles in the West End on Oct. 1. Charles, who grew up in Cincinnati, was known in the boxing world as the "Cincinnati Cobra" and, according to ESPN, was considered one of the world's greatest fighters. He was inaugurated into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He finished his career with 95 wins, 25 losses and one draw and passed away in 1975.

Ezzard Charles II and Deborah Charles, Charles' son and daughter, joined city officials – including mayor Aftab Pureval and vice mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney – a release says.

The statue of Charles rests in a new plaza in Ezzard Charles Park – renamed from Laurel Park – in the West End near TQL Stadium. According to media materials, artist John Hebenstreit created the statue, while Jaipal Singh of CHAATRIK Architecture & Urban Design designed the plaza. The park also includes more than 100 newly planted trees.

The effort was funded by Cincinnati Parks, the Cincinnati Parks Foundation, Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses, the West End community and individual donors.

The unveiling was part of Ezz Fest, which celebrated Charles' life and accomplishments and included a parade, family activities and a race along Ezzard's old training route.

click to enlarge The new Ezzard Charles statue stands tall on a pedestal in a plaza in Ezzard Charles Park. - Photo: Provided by Cincinnati Parks
Photo: Provided by Cincinnati Parks
The new Ezzard Charles statue stands tall on a pedestal in a plaza in Ezzard Charles Park.

Cincinnati 's West End is covered with posters for Ezz Fest, which showcased the new bronze statue of Ezzard Charles on Oct. 1, 2022. - Photo: Cincinnati Parks
Photo: Cincinnati Parks
Cincinnati 's West End is covered with posters for Ezz Fest, which showcased the new bronze statue of Ezzard Charles on Oct. 1, 2022.

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