Muhammad Ali is turning 70, but the boxing great is still a “big kid” who enjoys his birthday parties, his wife said.
The three-time heavyweight champion reaches the milestone Tuesday, but the festivities will start early. Ali will be surrounded by friends who are gathering Saturday evening for a private birthday party at the Muhammad Ali Center in his hometown of Louisville.
“Muhammad likes celebrations that involve him and are centered around him,” Lonnie Ali told reporters before giving a speech Friday at the Ali Center. “He’s still a big kid in that area. He loves birthdays.”
Lonnie Ali said it’s the first of five parties for her husband over the next couple of months. Other parties will be in Las Vegas, California and Arizona, she said.
“That’s the way to celebrate your 70th,” she said.
She said the champ will be surrounded by close friends and people who have been fixtures in his life at the party Saturday night, including his famed trainer Angelo Dundee. The party is doubling as a $1,000 per person fundraiser for the center, a cultural and education complex that also features a museum focusing on Ali’s long career as a boxer, social activist and humanitarian.