LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A fan of Muhammad Ali has acquired an important piece of memorabilia: the boxing great's boyhood home.
Las Vegas real estate investor Jared Weiss closed on the property earlier this week, a Louisville realtor told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Realtor Dave Lambrechts said Weiss paid $70,000 for the small white house with a sagging front porch overhang in a western Louisville neighborhood of neat, modest homes.
"The guy's a huge Ali fan, and that's what kind of spurred this," Lambrechts said.
The home already has a state historical marker out front recognizing the residence as the home of Ali when he was a boy named Cassius Clay. The marker says Ali lived in the mostly black neighborhood with his parents and brother and attended local public schools.
It was at the home where the future boxing champion's "values were instilled," the marker says.
"Ali's childhood home is really symbolic for the area," Lambrechts said.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was upbeat about the deal.
"I am delighted that a fan of the champ is in control of the home, and the city looks forward to helping make this residence a place that spreads the message of Muhammad Ali's legacy," he said in a statement. "We are proud to be the home of the 'Louisville Lip'" — a nickname from Ali's boxing days.
Donald Lassere, president and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville, also was cheered by the home's purchase.
Lassere said in a statement that "3302 West Grand Avenue is an important landmark for the city of Louisville and it will forever be tied to Muhammad's legacy here in his hometown."
The center looks forward to giving Weiss a grand tour, he said, promising to reveal more insight into Ali's "iconic life and how his early years in Louisville helped shape the man who is known around the world as 'The Greatest.'"
Ali and his wife, Lonnie, have residences in Phoenix, Louisville and Berrien Springs, Mich., but their primary residence is in Arizona. Lonnie, who is some 16 years younger, grew up in the same Louisville neighborhood as the boxing champion, an Ali Center spokeswoman said.
They remain linked to their hometown by the Ali Center, a museum and education center that is one of the city's prime tourist attractions.
Ali came home for a 70th birthday bash in January.
Lambrechts said the new owner wants to restore Ali's boyhood home to how it looked when the future champ lived in it. He estimated the restoration would take about $50,000.
Lassere said the Ali Center was pleased the home went to someone who cares about its preservation.
Lambrechts said Weiss hasn't finalized his plans but won't use it as rental property. Among the options being considered are turning the home into a museum or using it for some charitable function.
The house had been under private ownership and was assessed at $23,260, according to the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator's website. Former owner Steve Stephenson had said he was asking $50,000.
It was at his childhood home where Ali began dreaming of boxing greatness. He took up boxing at age 12, when his bike was stolen and he wanted to find and whip the culprit. The boy was introduced to Joe Martin, a police officer who coached boxing at a local gym.
Ali went on to become a three-time world heavyweight champion. He remains one of the most recognizable figures on the planet, even though his public appearances have become sporadic as he fights Parkinson's disease.
Ali's influence has extended far beyond the boxing ring as he has championed social causes. He traveled the world on humanitarian missions and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from then-President George W. Bush in 2005.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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