Claressa Shields Presents Liberty Award to Muhammad Ali
Flint’s Olympic Gold Medalist boxer Claressa Shields helped present 1960 Gold Medalist Muhammad Ali with the Liberty Medal at a ceremony last night in Philadelphia.
Shields, age 17, won the gold medal at the London Olympics, the first to offer women’s boxing. Since winning the gold, she has been busy meeting lots of famous and important people. As a boxer, none compare to “The Greatest,” as Ali was known.
Ali won Olympic gold in the 1960 Rome Games and it didn’t take long before he was the professional Heavyweight Champion of the World. Ali would lose and regain the title numerous times in a career that lasted over 20 years.
Ali was honored for what he did outside of the boxing ring, his charitable missions and more recently his battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Ali received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest U.S. civilian honor.
As a teenager, I was fortunate to have been able to see Ali fight Joe Frazier on closed-circuit at the old IMA in Flint. I can imagine it was quite a thrill for Ms. Shields to meet a hero of boxers and boxing fans worldwide.
Claressa Shields is scheduled to make an appearance at the Fox 66 Fall Festival with Cars 108 tomorrow afternoon at Perani Arena. If you haven’t had the chance to congratulate her for winning the Olympic gold, you should stop by between noon and five p.m.