MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The signs aren't up quite yet, but the city of Miami Beach has decided to co-name Convention Center Drive Muhammad Ali Way in honor of the late boxing champ.
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and the city commission unveiled one of the signs that will be placed on the roadway to commemorate the late athlete and civil rights leader.
It was at the Miami Beach Convention Center that Ali won that now infamous fight against then-champ Sonny Liston to take the title. It was also that night in 1964 that Ali officially changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.
Ali also trained at the 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach.
"He spent so much of his life in Miami Beach and all of Miami," Levine said. "This was a place that he loved, and this was a place, as you can tell, that he always came back to for many, many years. I remember seeing Muhammad Ali a long time. He was always here. His wife, Lonnie Ali, wrote us a great note telling how much he loved Miami Beach."
Members of the Ali family were not on hand Tuesday, but they sent notes of thanks for the honor.
Commissioner Ricky Arriola happens to be a huge Ali fan and has plans to honor the champ in another way.
"Even despite his ailments late in life, he still carried himself with dignity and class and was an inspiration to many. He was a huge inspiration to me," Arriola said. "I'm having a son next week and I'm giving him the middle name of Ali in honor of Muhammad Ali."
The news signs marking Muhammad Ali Way will be up by early 2017.