Mohammed Ali: ‘A giant of a gentleman’, according to Michael Burke.

On 25th February 1989, Michael Burke had a knockout encounter with boxing legend Mohammed Ali.

Michael was attending a Veterinary Exhibition in Las Vegas where the manager of the Hilton hotel whom he was friendly with, asked did he want to meet Mohammed Ali who was staying there.

“When I returned from the conference that evening, there was a note in my mailbox to go his room at 6pm and we went up to his room where there were about a hundred people outside his room waiting to give him a cure for his Parkinson’s disease,” said Michael.

Despite thinking he had no chance of getting to meet him, Michael was escorted to Mohammed Ali’s room when he met him and his wife along with Senator Hatch and chatted about “everything and anything” for over an hour.

Mohammed said to Michael, “I am going down to watch the Tyson Vs Bruno fight, you can come with me”.

And just like that, Michael walked down to the fight beside Mohammed in the Hilton Hotel. “It was an amazing experience. Mohammed was given a standing ovation and outstanding applause as I accompanied him down to the ring”.

Michael keeps a picture of his encounter with Mohammed Ali in his office and feels very fortunate to have sparred with a sporting legend! “He was an amazing guy. A giant of a gentleman” he said.

Michael H. Burke meeting Mohammed Ali in 1989

Michael H. Burke meeting Mohammed Ali in 1989