Posts Tagged ‘Dionne Warwick

18
Oct
09

Muhammad Ali vs Derek Jeter!

Photos by Kathy Willens Photos by Kathy Willens 

Muhammad Ali adjusts a New York Yankees cap given to him by Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter before the Red Sox faced the Yankees in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009.

Red Sox Yankees Baseball

Muhammad Ali inspects an award presented to the Yankees from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences before the Yankees’ baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in New York, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009.

Red Sox Yankees Baseball

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18
Oct
09

Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali film explores boxers’ famous bout, relationship

October 17, 2009, 12:30AM

 larry holmes, muhammad aliView full sizeAP Fight PhotoMuhammad Ali reacts after being struck by Larry Holmes during their 1980 title fight.Larry Holmes believes his career always has been overshadowed by that of Muhammad Ali.

And maybe he’s right. After all, ESPN Films documentary about the boxers’ relationship and legendary fight, airing 8 p.m. Oct. 27, is called “Muhammad and Larry” not “Larry and Muhammad.”

In any case, the Easton Assassin has a sense of humor about how people perceive his accomplishments served up beside Ali’s.

“Ali said he was the greatest and everyone said ‘Yeah,’” Holmes said Friday. “I said I was the greatest and everyone said ‘Yeah, right.’

Maybe the fact that he whupped The Greatest in their 1980 title fight makes it easy to poke fun at himself when the subject is Ali. That, and his genuine affection for a man who once relied on him as a sparring partner.

“I have a good relationship with him. I could call his house right now,” said Holmes, a 59-year-old Palmer Township resident. “We never had an argument. I was there (in his camp) to earn money and get my rent paid. If he said he was the greatest, I said ‘You are the greatest.’”

The film is part of the “30 for 30” documentary series ESPN is running to mark its 30th anniversary.

18
Oct
09

Welcome back to Ireland, Muhammad O’ALi: Boxing legend thrills 10,000 with visit to home of his Irish great-grandfather

He fixed his eyes in a steely gaze, raised his mighty fists and made a crowd of 10,000 roar.

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly the electric atmosphere he created with the Thrilla in Manila or the Rumble in the Jungle.

But the rapturous reception Muhammad Ali received in a small Irish town yesterday provided a spine-tingling reminder of those glory days.

Shadow boxing: Muhammad Ali with his wife Lonnie (left) in Ennis, County Clare, Ireland unveiling the plaque to his ancestors after he was honoured as the first Freeman of his ancestral home

Boxing legend: Muhammad Ali with his wife Lonnie (left) in Ennis, County Clare, Ireland unveiling the plaque to his ancestors after he was honoured as the first Freeman of his ancestral home

Muhammad Ali was greeted with a roar to rival even the Rumble in the Jungle as he took a few frail steps from his car

The champion arrives: Ali was greeted with a roar to rival even the Rumble in the Jungle as he took a few frail steps from his car under blue skies

It came as he unveiled a plaque to his little-known Irish ancestors in Ennis, County Clare.

Ali’s great-grandfather, Abe Grady, who hailed from the town, emigrated to the U.S. in the 1860s, and in recognition of his roots Ali was yesterday made the first Honorary Freeman of Ennis.

It was his first visit there and with the confidence that typified his sporting career, he was almost immediately talking of a comeback, despite medical advice against travelling.

As the three times World Heavyweight Champion accepted the honour, his wife Lonnie revealed: ‘Now that we know Muhammad is an Ennis man, we will be back.’

The adoring fans, spanning generations, had packed into the town’s main square for hours before the civic reception was broadcast on a huge screen.

Warm welcome: Muhammad Ali with his wife Lonnie (right) and daughter Hana (left) are greeted by thousands of fans Welcome: Muhammad Ali with his wife Lonnie (right) and daughter Hana (left) are greeted by a huge crowd

A sign on a shop front in Ennis ahead of Ali's visit to the town where his great-grandfather Abe Grady was born

Ancestral home: A sign on a shop front in Ennis ahead of Ali’s visit to the town where his great-grandfather Abe Grady was born

Lonnie announced that her husband, who has been battling Parkinson’s Disease for 25 years, was overwhelmed by the experience.

Ali smiled several times during the ceremony and despite his frailty he was also obviously struck by the occasion, fiddling with the strap of his watch and rubbing his eyes as Ennis Mayor Frankie Neylon outlined the legend’s links with Ennis and his many great achievements.

Some onlookers even suggested the magic of the man even brought fine weather, noting that more than three decades after he famously claimed to have ‘even cancelled the rain’ for his Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman, it appeared he had pulled off the same stroke. 

Thousands of fans watch a big screen in Ennis town centre as Ali unveils his family plaque Irish honour: Thousands of fans watch a big screen in Ennis town centre as Ali unveils his family plaque

Muhammad Ali visits Ennis County Clare, Ireland
Muhammad Ali visits Ennis County Clare, Ireland

 

Shadow boxing: To the delight of crowds in Ennis, Ali treats them to some moves that made him a three-time world heavyweight champion

After weeks of summer downpours, threatening rainclouds cleared almost within minutes of Ali being spotted touching down at Shannon Airport at around midday.

Imelda O’Grady, a distant cousin who embraced the boxing legend as he arrived in Ennis, said: ‘Look, the sun’s come out – it’s shining down on him.’

Miss O’Grady presented Ali with framed photographs of them both, with the inscription: ‘Cead Mile Failte (One Hundred Thousand Welcomes) from Imelda O’Grady and the O’Grady families.’

Ali and his family admire the plaque on Turnpike Road

First freeman: Ali and his family admire the plaque on Turnpike Road

A young girl carries a doll of the boxing legend as she's surrounded by crowds who turned out to witness Ali's historic visit

Hero’s welcome: A young girl carries a doll of the boxing legend as she’s surrounded by crowds who turned out to witness Ali’s historic visit

So too were the thousands more who thronged Turnpike Road, the homeplace of Ali’s great-grandfather Abe Grady, who emigrated to the United States in the 1860s and married a freed African-American slave.

 

The 67-year-old ex-fighter, renowned as a civil rights champion, astonished his fans when he alighted from a black people carrier to unveil a plaque at his ancestor’s house.

As crowds cheered ‘Muhammad, Muhammad’ and ‘Ali, Ali’, he turned and with an impromptu throw-back to his days in the ring, a shadow boxing cameo once again showed the ageing champion at his greatest.

Enlarge   The family tree of Muhammad Ali

The family tree of Muhammad Ali

 

Ali (centre) displays his Freedom of the City certificate with the Mayor and Councillors of Ennis

Proud: Ali (centre) displays his Freedom of the City certificate with the Mayor and Councillors of Ennis

‘It was unreal, it was a privilege,’ she said afterwards. ‘When he saw his relations he was delighted. I think he was emotional – by God, I was certainly emotional.’

Odessa Grady, the mother of Ali, is the daughter of John Grady, who was the son of Irishman Abe GradyFamily tree: Odessa Grady, the mother of Ali, is the daughter of John Grady, who was the son of Irishman Abe Grady and his African-American wife

In total, among the invited guests at the ceremony were three representatives of three families believed to be directly descended from Ali’s great-grandfather.

After the brief visit to Ennis, fans had to be levered off his people carrier as it made its way through the narrow-lined medieval streets, festooned with flags.

Before leaving for the U.S., Ali stopped off at the nearby baronial Dromoland Castle, for a charity fundraising afternoon tea.

Mark Nolan, manager of the plush hotel, said his latest guest topped the bill of renowned visitors.

‘We’ve had George Bush, Bill Clinton… maybe Nelson Mandela is the only guest who is comparable to Ali,’ he said. ‘I’ve never seen excitement like it here.’

Ali is not the first global figure Ireland has laid claim to.

Of the 44 U.S. Presidents so far, 17 have been found to have links to Ireland, John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan among them.

Barack Obama’s maternal family tree is also said to trace back to a well-to-do shoemaker from Moneygall, County Offaly, who lived from 1794 to 1861.

Muhammad Ali family tree

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1210524/Muhammad-Ali-freeman-ancestral-home-Ireland.html#ixzz0UFjXViGq

17
Oct
09

Ali visits home of Irish roots

Ali visits home of Irish roots

Ali visits home of Irish roots

DUBLIN — Muhammad Ali made a sentimental journey Tuesday (September 2nd 2009) to discover his Irish roots, and met distant relatives during celebrations at the local town hall and a nearby castle.

Thousands lined the streets of Ennis, western Ireland, to cheer his motorcade as the three-time heavyweight champion visited the home of his great-grandfather Abe Grady.

Fans adorned streets with red, white and blue bunting and flags, while shop windows competed to display the most impressive posters honoring Ali — including one tongue-in-cheek portrait of him appearing ready to knock out an unpopular Irish politician.

Ali visits home of Irish roots

Ali visits home of Irish roots

Ali, who is 67 and battling Parkinson’s disease, fought only once in Ireland, knocking out Alvin Lewis at Dublin’s Croke Park on July 19, 1972.

Ali offered a few playful jabs to cameras but made no public comments and steered clear of throngs of autograph-seekers Tuesday, among them hundreds of kids whose schools closed early for the event. Police blocked off roads and kept crowds in line with railings.

Grady settled in Kentucky in the 1860s and married a freed slave. One of their grandchildren, Odessa Lee Grady Clay, gave birth to Ali — then Cassius Clay — in 1942.

Genealogists pinpointed Ali’s Irish links in 2002, but Ali had never visited Ennis.

His visit to Ennis Town Hall was broadcast live on big-screen televisions outside, where locals also took in a live concert by traditional musicians, including best-selling accordionist Sharon Shannon.

Ali’s wife, Yolanda, said her husband’s Irish blood might help explain his legendary ability to bludgeon his opponents with blarney as well as punches. She kept close at Ali’s side during the public events, talking to him and steadying him as they walked arm in arm.

“When you look at Muhammad’s pugilistic skills and his loquacious ways, I am sure if his great-grandfather was alive, he would swear it came from him,” she said. “If he were alive today I bet he would be in every pub talking about it too.”

Mayor Frankie Neylon presented Ali with a scroll and proclaimed him Ennis’ first “freeman,” an honor conveying him special privileges in the County Clare town of 23,000. The mayor said the most valuable privilege would be free parking.

Yolanda Ali said the couple would return to Ireland “now that we know that Muhammad is an Ennisman.”

People traveled hundreds of miles from across Ireland to see Ali, among them veteran Irish boxers who sparred with Ali in New York training decades ago.

Former Irish national champ Jim O’Sullivan recalled sparring with Ali and his trainer Angelo Dundee during a U.S. tour by Irish boxers in 1978 — and wished he’d known then that “The Greatest” was “just a Paddy like us.”

“We’d have dearly loved to have known he was that wee bit Irish. We’d have given him some stick,” O’Sullivan said, using an Irish expression for good-natured ribbing.

Ali was driven through the town to Turnpike Road, where his great-grandfather lived before sailing for America. He met several representatives of the Grady clan, most of them O’Gradys — the O connoting “son of” in the native Irish tongue.

Later, Ali was guest of honor at a fundraising banquet at nearby Dromoland Castle, one of Ireland’s premier luxury hotels. He planned to return to the United States on Wednesday.

 
Copyright 2009

11
Jun
09

Muhammad Ali’s Fight Night, Celebrities raises more than $7.5 million

Muhammad Ali on a videoscreen. Fight Night XIV held at the JW Marriott Resort - show. Phoenix, Arizona - 05.04.08

Muhammad Ali on a videoscreen. Fight Night XIV held at the JW Marriott Resort - show. Phoenix, Arizona - 05.04.08

Muhammad Ali’s Celebrity Fight Night XIV raised a total of more than $7.5 million dollars for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities. Fight Night was held on Saturday, April 5, 2008 at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.

Oscar winning Director, actor and producer Kevin Costner was presented with the Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Achievement Award during. The actor delivered a moving acceptance speech to a riveted crowd. 
“Muhammad Ali changed our lives, and not just because he was the greatest boxer who ever lived. He was,” Costner said. “More than any other person in sports history, he represented to me the effect that a champion can have on the world when they leave their sport.”
Other honorees included legendary music mogul Clive Davis, football player LaDainian Tomlinson, and singer/actress Reba McEntire, who also served as the emcee for the evening.
The show kicked off with a rousing performance from country music star Collin Raye, who got the crowd on its feet with his hit “That’s My Story.” Legendary diva Dionne Warwick received a standing ovation for her performance of the hit “I’ll Never Love this Way Again.” Arizona native and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks entertained with two songs. Guests received a very special treat when presenter Faith Hill came to the stage to perform her hit song “This Kiss” after a generous bidder offered $100,000 to the organization to hear her sing. Honoree Reba McEntire also took the stage with a crowd pleasing performance of “Love Revival.” Comedian Sinbad performed a hilarious stand-up routine. John Mellencamp, recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, closed out the show with a five song set that included his hits “Jack & Diane,” “Small Town,” and “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” at the request of the Champ himself.
 
The event also featured an exciting live auction offering one of-a-kind luxury item, such as dinner at Reba McEntire’s Beverly Hills, California home which went for $500,000, an extreme skate party hosted by Tony Hawk, a unique golf experience and dinner with legendary golfer Arnold Palmer which was purchased for $600,000, a dream day on the golf course with Phil Mickelson for $500,000, an intimate gourmet dinner with the Lonnie and Muhammad Ali for $200,000, dinner in one of the finest restaurants with David Foster and Andrea Bocelli which went for $260,000, and a one-of-a-kind 2008 Roush P-51A Mustang Convertible which sold for $300,000.
Each year dozens of celebrity guests attend the event that has raised more than $50 million dollars in 14 years. Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker and has been supporting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities.



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