Louisville, Kentucky, the hometown of the late boxing legend, Muhammad Ali, has renamed its airport in honour of the heavyweight champion who died in 2016.
The Louisville Regional Airport Authority board announced its decision on Wednesday, saying the airport will now be known as the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.
“Muhammad became one of the most well-known people to ever walk the Earth and has left a legacy of humanitarianism and athleticism that has inspired billions of people,” said Mayor Greg Fischer in a press release from the board.
“It important that we, as a city, further champion The Champ’s legacy, and the airport renaming is a wonderful next step.”
Widow of the boxer-turned-activist, Lonnie Ali, his widow, said she was proud of the board’s decision.
“Muhammad was a global citizen, but he never forgot the city that gave him his start,” she said in the statement.
Muhammad Ali called Louisville “one of the greatest cities in America.” After defeating heavyweight champion George Foreman in the historic 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” match, he gave a shout-out to his hometown.
“I’m recognized all over the world now, but my greatness came and started in Louisville,” he said.
Ali died at the age of 74, after a decades-long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was buried in a private ceremony in Louisville, after his coffin passed by thousands of well-wishers in the city’s streets.