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Evander Holyfield’s curiously missing statue no longer to be installed downtown

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It’s been two years since then-Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced the boxer would be immortalized near Woodruff Park

A photo of an Evander Holyfield statue before it was coated in bronze.
Homegrown Evander Holyfield’s chiseled likeness.
Hanlon Sculpture Studio

It’s been about two years since then-Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced a statue of local boxing legend Evander Holyfield would be installed near downtown’s Woodruff Park.

But it seems the giant bronze effigy is still stuffed away in storage.

The City of Atlanta has paid $90,000—some of which was Renew Atlanta money—to New Jersey sculptor Brian Hanlon. Now he’s wondering, as he tells Curbed Atlanta, “What the hell happened to this project?”

The 9-foot-tall statue was initially expected to go up in front of downtown’s Flatiron Building in early 2018.

City of Atlanta officials are now in talks, however, with a nearby Neighborhood Planning Unit to bring it to a Southwest Atlanta community with ties to the Holyfield family.

Where exactly that might be, however, has not yet been disclosed.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’s press secretary Michael Smith says the statue will be installed before year’s end.

Meanwhile, Hanlon has been tapping his feet, wondering why his work isn’t yet on display: “You want to honor this guy that everyone loves, and yet you don’t want to honor him?” he says.

When the master sculptor initially began to wonder when his work would be publicly viewable, he had his attorney inquire at Atlanta City Hall.

“But the bills just piled up,” Hanlon said of legal fees. “[My attorney] went down there. He talked to them, and [city officials] talked a big game, but nothing ever happened.”

In other Evander Holyfield-related news, the star boxer’s son recently made his professional fighting debut and clobbered his opponent in just 16 seconds, according to Fox News.