The Champ at NMU
World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali came to NMU July 9, 1977 for an exhibition bout with a former heavyweight champion, Jimmy Ellis, at Hedgcock Fieldhouse. The match was intended to raise funds for a Muhammad Ali Scholarship Fund for minority students at NMU. According to the Menominee County Journal, promoters had hoped for a crowd of 5,000. However, less than half that number attended. When discussing the small crowd, Ali said, “I’m the most sought after man in the world, not the most sought after athlete but the most sought after man. The people don’t believe that such a well known person is really here, they’re just asleep, they’re the ones that are missing out. When I get in the ring for a fight, half the world is conscious that I’m fighting.”
The above image is from the cover of the eight-page program for the event. View more at nmu.edu/archives/muhammad-alis-visit-northern.
(Courtesy Central Upper Peninsula and NMU Archives)