Olympic Champs Celebrate Boxing Centennial

Lennox Lewis Donates to Muhammad Ali's Sports Center

Muhammad Ali, left, and Lennox Lewis have a playful sparring match. Courtesy Muhammad Ali Center hide caption

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itoggle caption Courtesy Muhammad Ali Center
Former heavyweight champs Muhammad Ali, left, and Lennox Lewis have a playful sparring match.

Former heavyweight champs Muhammad Ali, left, and Lennox Lewis have a playful sparring match. Courtesy Muhammad Ali Center hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Muhammad Ali Center

On the 100th anniversary of boxing becoming an Olympic sport, boxing legends Muhammad Ali and Lennox Lewis — along with Ali's wife Lonnie Ali — join NPR's Tavis Smiley to announce Lewis' $300,000 gift to the Muhammad Ali Center, now under construction in Ali’s hometown of Louisville, Ky.

The center is designed to honor unity, sportsmanship and excellence — qualities both Lewis and Ali, both Olypic medalists, exemplified in their careers.

Ali is the 1960 Olympic light heavyweight gold medalist and three-time world heavyweight champ. Ali now suffers from advanced Parkinson's disease.

Lennox Lewis, born five years after Ali won his gold medal, went on to be the first Briton to win the world heavyweight championship in a century. Lewis became famous for his high-profile defeats of such champions as Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson.

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