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Muhammad Ali statement regarding the death of Jimmy Ellis

Lonnie and I are very saddened by the loss of our friend, and fellow Louisvillian, Jimmy Ellis. Our friendship began on the local Louisville boxing show “Tomorrow’s Champions” and continued to grow throughout the years. In the ring he was tough. In the world of heavyweights, I have always thought that Jimmy was one of the best. As a former champion, Jimmy was known for exceptional hand speed and a strong chin. He was a master in the ring. Jimmy and I were both trained by Angelo Dundee, who would often say that Jimmy “packed more punch” than he was ever given credit for. Strong chin and punching power aside, it was his gentle manner and the compassion in his heart that I found most worthy of admiration. I had a kinship with Jimmy and felt like he and I were of the same cloth. He was a great athlete and a caring man. Great competitors who happen to be great friends are rare. Jimmy Ellis was that to me and I will miss him.

–Muhammad Ali