The memory of former World Champion Boxer Billy Costello lives on through a statue near Colonel Chandler Drive, Albany Avenue and Broadway in Kingston. It took some difficulty to bring the statue home, but as YNN’s Alexandra Weishaupt tells us, friends and family say it was worth the wait.
KINGSTON, N.Y. -- “He did wonders for this town and the children. He loved the kids,” said Billy Costello’s father, Billy Costello Sr.
The memory of boxing legend Billy Costello remains. His legacy lives on through a six foot granite statue in the heart of his hometown.
“It represents our brother and it’s the head of Kingston. When you enter Kingston, there he is. When you leave, there he is,” said longtime family friend and Kingston business owner Joseph LaLima.
When Billy was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, a committee of family and friends got together to raise funds for the dedication. A total of $20,000 was collected and the project was underway.
“Once we found out he had the cancer, we wanted to get it done fast. We did everything in our power to get it done. It just never came about,” said Committee Treasurer Lewis Kirschner.
The monumental project had hit a roadblock and would take nearly two years until the statue came home.
“They gave us pictures of a model that they did. It was unsatisfactory to us. It did not at all look like Bill,” said LaLima.
LaLima says they tried to rectify the situation, but to no avail. They accepted it as it was and in November 2012, the statue made way to Kingston in honor of their friend and their brother.
“We’re content with it being up in honor of Billy. I’m not content with the way that it appears,” said LaLima.
But with Costello having passed in June 2011, they say it's more about his memory than the way the statue looks.
“The legacy will be there. Billy earned it and for generations to come, they’ll see him. The looks are just skin deep, but the feelings are right there in the middle of your heart,” said Kirschner.
“I’m happy that it’s here and that it’s in honor of him. We’ll fix it up,” said Costello Sr.
Committee members say altering the statue to look more like Costello is a possibility in the future.