Get in the Ring! Ezzard Charles Statue Groundbreaking Kicks Off 4th Annual Ezz Fest in Laurel Park

kids at ezz fest

Get in the Ring! Ezzard Charles Statue Groundbreaking Kicks Off 4th Annual Ezz Fest in Laurel Park

Today, October 9, 2021, The Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses, West End Community Council, Cincinnati Parks and Cincinnati Parks Foundation celebrated the official groundbreaking for the statue honoring the life and legacy of World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and favorite son of Cincinnati’s West End, Ezzard Charles, to be erected and dedicated in Laurel Park in 2022 (See renderings below).

This project is only possible thanks to the generosity of the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation—as well as several other community partners. CHAATRIK Architecture & Urban Design is designing the plaza, the statue was sculpted by John Hebenstreit.

This event also celebrated the 4th Annual Ezz Fest —the West End’s arts, athletics, and music festival celebrating Ezzard Charles’ contributions to the West End’s rich history. Festivities included a community picnic, live music, boxing activities, a family fun area, and local vendors.

This event was sponsored by Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses, Cincinnati Parks Foundation, Cincinnati Parks, FC Cincinnati, the Development Fund of the West End and the Maschmeier Boys and Girls.

Ezzard Charles Jr.
Jenny Mobley, Deputy Director of Cincinnati Parks
Linda Lee Thomas, Park Board Commissioner
Ezzard Charles Groundbreaking
Jan Michelle Lemon Kearney
Ezzard Charles statue groundbreaking


Thank you to the Ezzard Charles Statue Donors:

Heavyweight Champion

Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Foundation


CHAATRIK Architecture & Urban Design
CPF Emerging Leaders
Ernst & Young
FC Cincinnati Foundation
Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial
MadTree Brewing
Montgomery Inn/Dean Gregory
PNC Charitable Trust
Mike Ruehlman
Perfetti Van Melle


LaRosa’s Inc.
The Maschmeier Boys & Girls
Jim Messner
Dr. O’Dell M. Owens


Andrew & Shanna Barton
Harry & Natalie Cappel
Cincinnati Bell
Adam & Rebecca Coleman
Fay Dupuis
The E.W. Scripps Company
Fifth Third Bank
GE Foundation
Tom Hankinson
Scott Kohlhepp
Scott Oyler
Rosemary Schlachter
Taft Law
Thornton Family Charitable Fund
Brian Tiffany