Former world heavyweight champions Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali, “Big” George Foreman, “Smokin” Joe Frazier, Bruce “The Atlantic City Express” Seldon, “Jersey” Joe Walcott, Corrie “The Sniper” Sanders and Floyd Patterson all celebrated their birthdays in the month of January.
Ali’s birthday in 2021 would have been his 79th though passing away in 2016 at the age of 74. His professional record was 56-5 (37) and an Olympic Gold Medal Winner in 1960 in Rome, along with 19 world title defenses.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Ali also lived in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Cherry Hill, New Jersey. His training camp was in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania. This writer met him in 1973 in center city Philadelphia and two weeks later visited him at his Cherry Hill home. I visited him half a dozen times at the Deer Lake camp where we had our picture together. It is now called “Fighters Heaven”.
This writer has written a dozen articles including his birthday’s on Ali such as “Laughs with Ali“, “Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali’s Amateur Record”, “Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali Opposing Those Southpaws in the Amateurs and Pro’s”, “Facing Ali”, “How This Writer Remembers Muhammad Ali”, “Was Muhammad Ali a Draft Dodger or a Hero?”, “Was Muhammad Ali the Most Colorful Athlete in Sports History?”, “Two Kings, Ali & Elvis”, “Remembering When This Writer Met Ali”, and again this article. I met his second wife Belinda at their Cherry Hill home and have a picture of his third wife Veronica at Deer Lake. Ali was one of a kind, many times imitated but never duplicated! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHAMP!