Kansas City local remembers refereeing Muhammad Ali Kemper Arena fight

Posted at 6:06 PM, Jun 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-10 19:06:25-04

Tens of thousands of fans from all over the world said their final goodbyes to "The Greatest" - Muhammad Ali.  

Ali died Friday at a Phoenix-area hospital, where he was being treated for respiratory complications. He was 74 years old.

“He was the champ at that time. He was in his prime,” said Kansas City resident Jerry Morales.

Morales is a long-time boxing fan. He boxed, coached and refereed for years. One of the greatest matches he was a part of was the 1974 Golden Gloves National Championship at Kemper Arena.

“I walked into Kemper Arena early and met another referee named Kenney Morse. We were going up the steps and we were halfway up the steps and here comes Cassius Clay coming down,” he told 41 Action News.

The two talked. The next time they met was inside of ring. Ali was in one corner, fighting in the exhibition. Morales was standing behind him, officiating the fight.

“When I got in the ring and he saw me, he was really [surprised],” said Morales. “I don't know why. Maybe that's the way he was but he was real friendly, real nice.”

Ali died on Morales’ 82nd birthday.

WATCH the video in the player above to learn more.



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