The Camden County Board of Commissioners and Historical Society unveiled the statue of boxing legend “Jersey Joe Walcott” Cream last Saturday afternoon.
The 8-foot-tall bronze image of the proud Son of Camden now proudly stands on the Camden Waterfront on the Wiggins Park Promenade.
Commissioned Director Louis Cappelli Jr. spoke about the iconic boxer and public servant, who made throughout his life.
“Today it was an honor and a privilege to recognize the accomplishments and legacy of a Camden County son,” Cappelli said. “Jersey Joe always believed in hard work and set standards that embody the soul and spirit of the residents who live in our region. He was a real life Rocky and he never backed down, he didn’t back down against the best fighters in the world to become the champion and he didn’t back down against institutional racism to become the first African-American Sheriff in Camden County history.”
Mr Creme de la Creme Cream was much more than a boxer and a sheriff, he was a man who loved his family and worked hard to create an eternal image of greatness for our community that will now live forever on the waterfront.”
Arnold Cream was born in Pennsauken, grew up in Merchantville and became a professional boxer who competed from 1930 to 1953 and held the world heavyweight title from 1951 to 1952. He made Camden City his home and was the oldest man to win the heavyweight title at the age of 37, until George Foreman, 45, broke the record in 1994.
He became the first African-American to serve as the elected Camden County Sheriff, a position he held from 1971 to 1974. After his time as Sheriff, Walcott served as chairman of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission since 1975. until 1984.
Camden City Mayor and friend of the Cream family, Vic Carstarphen, spoke about the man, family and Jersey Joe’s legacy that will live on in the future, symblolized by this statute.
“Jersey Joe Walcott is a Camden icon and a pioneer,” Carstarphen continued. “He set the standard for those who followed in his footsteps, including me. His athletic accomplishments are well documented, his honorable career as Sheriff was momentous, and most of all, his impact on Camden and the wider community was profound. That is why it is fitting that we honor this incredible individual with his own statue prominently displayed in his hometown on Camden Waterfront. It’s wonderful to know that this Jersey Joe memorial will remind everyone who visits and resides in Camden what can be accomplished with hard work and determination.”
The statue was created by renowned local sculptor Carl LeVotch. His design includes an eight-foot bronze figure sculpture with two high relief bronze sculptures and a bronze replica of his belt. These works of art are attached to a pedestal and are located on the Wiggins Park Promenade.
For more information on supporting the statute and historical society, you can find herewww.camdencounty.com/enjoy-camden-county/jersey-joe-walcott/