Louisville Airport Will Change Its Name to Honor Muhammad Ali
Officials in Louisville, Kentucky announced yesterday that the city’s airport will be renamed after hometown boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
The city is hoping to finish the renaming process by June in time for the annual “I Am Ali” festival. The name will change from Lousiville International Aiport to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.
Mayor Greg Fischer released an official statement on the name change.
“Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown, and fortunately, that is our great city of Louisville. Muhammad became one of the most well-known people to ever walk the Earth and has left a legacy of humanitarianism and athleticism that has inspired billions of people.
“It is important that we, as a city, further champion The Champ’s legacy, and the airport renaming is a wonderful next step.” – Greg Fischer
The airports’ officials are currently working on receiving approval from Ali’s family for the use of his name. According to The Hill, an agreement is near.
Legacy of Ali
Muhammad Ali is best known for his charisma and skills in the boxing ring.Throughout his 21-year-career he was outspoken and never backed down from a fight.
Ali spoke about racism, politics, and religion. He used his platform to shine the light on the problems that black people faced and contributed his star power to the Civil Rights Movement.
On January 17th,1942 he was born in Louisville Kentucky. His original name was Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. His parent’s names were Cassius Marcellus Clay and Odessa Grady Clay.
Clay got into boxing when his bicycle got stolen at the age of 12. Clay went to report the theft to an officer named Joe Martin and promised he would beat up the robber. Martin was a boxing trainer and suggested that Clay learn how to fight. He took the young boy under his wing and started training him. Six weeks later Clay won his first fight by split decision.
At the age of 18 Clay already compiled an impressive resume. Two Golden Glove Titles, two Amateur Athletic Union national titles and 100-8 record. After graduating high school he traveled to Rome and won his first Olympic gold medal by decision. He defeated Polish boxer Zbigniew Pietrzykowski.
At the age of 22, he defeated Sonny Listen with a TKO to win the heavyweight title for the first time.
March 6, 1964, Cassius Clay officially changed his name to Muhammad Ali after joining the Nation of Islam. Muhammad means worthy of praise and Ali is the name of a cousin of a prophet.
In April 1967, Ali made a huge impact outside the world of boxing. Ali refused to join the U.S. Army after being drafted and announced his opposition to the Vietnam War. Ali became barred from boxing and was stripped of his title.
3 years later Ali got reinstated to boxing. In 1970, “The Fight of The Century” took place in Madison Square Garden in New York. Muhammad Ali suffered the first defeat of his career to Joe Frazier. Frazier won by unanimous decision after 15 rounds.
June 28, 1971, The U.S. Supreme Court reversed their verdict on Ali’s 1967 conviction.
In 1974 Frazier and Ali went on to fight in a rematch. This time Ali won by knockout in 12 rounds. Later that same year Ali went up against George Foreman in Africa. The fight was titled “Rumble in The Jungle.” The world got to witness Ali use the rope-a-dope technique and knock out Foreman in the eighth round.
Frazier and Ali went on to fight for a final and third time in the Philliphines. This fight became known as “Thrilla In Manilla.” Ali won by knockout in the 14th round.
1978 Ali made history by defeating Leon Spinks to become the first 3-time world heavyweight champion. Ali had lost the title to Spinks earlier that year.
Ali went on to retire June 27, 1979. He briefly came out of retirement in 1980 to face Larry Holmes. Ali was outpowered and his corner stopped the fight in ten rounds. Ali retired for good at the age of 39.
Five years later Ali was announced with Parkinsons Disease. This was believed to come from the numerous hits he had taken to the head in his career. This didn’t stop Ali from traveling and continuing his humanitarian efforts.
He passed away June 3, 2016, in his Arizona home. In his career, Ali went 56-5 and had a total of 37 knockouts.
Watch Some of Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Moments Below!
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