Muhammad Ali is being mourned the world over after his passing yesterday, and many Los Angeles residents are searching for a way to celebrate the legendary fighter and his impact on the city. As Cassius Clay, Ali fought numerous times at the soon-to-be-demolished Los Angeles Sports Arena. In 1973, after his long period of exile from the boxing world, he defeated Ken Norton at the Inglewood Forum. Ali also lived in Hancock Park for nearly a decade, where he apparently joked around with his Jewish neighbors about their mutual abstention from pork. He even talked a suicidal man out of jumping from the ninth floor of the Dominguez-Wilshire Building.
Surely there must be some way for the city to honor the legacy of such an important historical figure. Well, as KPCC reports, LA has already honored Ali quite a bit. Accounts vary, but it seems that former mayor Tom Bradley dedicated a day of the year Muhammed Ali Day no less than four times. One of those dates, May 22, passed less than two weeks ago. Another, September 6, is coming up at the end of summer. At one of these dedications, in 1982, stars from Waylon Jennings to Richard Pryor came to celebrate the three-time heavyweight champion.
In 2002, Ali showed up at the LA City Council chambers and the council declared yet another holiday on his birthday, January 17. After the dedication, the boxer reportedly joked, “I only get one day?” Municipal holidays are apparently quickly forgotten, so perhaps it’s good that Ali indeed seems to have at least five. Given the outpour of grief following his death, Angelenos will probably want multiple chances to appreciate the iconic athlete.