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Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 18:06 UK

Legend Ali pays Hatton gym visit

Report - Ali visits Hatton in Manchester

Three-time heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali spent the second day of his UK tour visiting Ricky Hatton at the British fighter's Manchester gym.

The 67-year-old, who is raising money for charity, stood to greet Hatton despite suffering the effects of Parkinson's Disease.

"It was very emotional. He raised his hand and was trying to say something," said Hatton.

"It really brought a lump to my throat, my eyes were welling up at one point."

Hundreds of fans gathered outside the gym in Hyde to see the American who achieved worldwide fame through his politics and wit as well as fights against the likes of George Foreman and Joe Frazier.


A spokesperson had previously stated that Ali's deteriorating health could make the trip his last to the UK.

Hatton, himself a former multiple world title-holder at light-welterweight and welterweight, showed Ali round the gym before exchanging gifts and posing for photographs.

Legend Ali visits Hattton's gym

"I think he was going to come in a wheelchair initially but then he said 'I can't have Ricky Hatton meet me in a wheelchair, I've got to walk in'," said Hatton.

"He's not just one of the greatest boxers of all time, he's one of the greatest men of all time."

Various causes, including a cultural and education centre set up in Ali's hometown of Louisville, will benefit from his appearance at dinners in Manchester, Stoke and Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

see also
Boxing legend Ali to visit Stoke
03 Jul 09 |  Stoke

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