Shortly after completing my statue of Conor, I was offered this huge Black Walnut tree. While I was trying to decide who to carve from it, Muhammad Ali passed away, and I decided he would be perfect for it. The two branches at the top would be just right to have his arms raised in victory, and the beautiful dark color of walnut would be a close match for his skin tone. A couple of days with a chainsaw and I had a very crude human shape, and it was ready to move inside the barn to get out of the weather. This piece took five months to complete. It is my tallest statue at 8′ 3″ tall, and weighs 330 pounds. After I completed it, Ray McCline of the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame became aware of it, and invited me to display it at their upcoming inaugural induction Ceremony. I have since exhibited there 3 years in a row now, having a great time and getting to meet several celebrities at the event. Black Walnut has been one of my favorite woods since I was in wood shop in high school, and I was excited to have such a large piece for a life size sculpture. The statue only has a clear polyurethane applied, no stain, so the color is natural and the grain was amazing. Standing in the left of the photo is Patrick Killian, a world famous boxing Artist who was also displaying his art.
A few of the celebrities I have met are pictured here with my Muhammad Ali sculpture. From the left is former World and Olympic boxing champion Michael Spinks, Weatta Frazier, daughter of Champion Joe Frazier, Martial Artist and Actor Chuck Zito, and former Heavyweight Champion Riddick Bowe. It has been exciting to meet and have my work seen and appreciated by such big names. Many I watched when I was young, when I had no idea I would ever find myself doing anything like this. Each year seems to get more exciting and I still have no idea what my little hobby will lead to.