News of the passing of boxing legend Muhammad Ali hit his legions of admirers like a late-round knockout punch. The 74-year-old, three-time World Heavyweight Champion and global icon died on Friday from sepsis after a more than 30-year struggle against Parkinson's disease.
Despite the magnanimity of their loss, fans of "The Greatest" may be interested in knowing that they might soon be able to live in one of Ali's former estates, in Cherry Hill, NJ, when it goes back up for rent or sale, says real estate broker Lucy Simone of Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors in Cherry Hill.
The five-bedroom, five-bathroom home has been on and off the market for the past two years. It was last listed at $728,685.
The Olympic gold medalist owned the home from 1971 through 1974. The champ chose the town because he was in New York so frequently during that time, Ali told the Philadelphia Magazine in 1972. But New York was "too busy," so he picked Cherry Hill for its proximity to Philadelphia, just 20 minutes away, near the location of Ali's training camp.
He owned the home during a remarkably eventful period in a life filled with them. In 1971, the Supreme Court overturned his conviction on draft evasion based on his religious beliefs, and he resumed his fighting career after a three-year hiatus. He battled archrival Joe Frazier later that year in the renowned "Fight of the Century" (losing on decision) and then regained the championship against Frazier in 1974's epic "Thrilla in Manila."
Since Ali's time, the Cherry Hill home has been redone "with a slightly Tuscan flare," Simone says. Highlights of the property include an atrium garden in the center of home, a spa room and hot tub. There is also an in-ground pool, tennis and volleyball courts, and a gazebo. The tile floor in the kitchen is heated.
It was last sold in March 2014 for $690,000, according to realtor.com data.
"It is not the showplace it was when Muhammad Ali owned it," Simone says of the residence, which was built in 1965. But "for the people in Cherry Hill, it will always be Muhammad Ali's home."
At the time of his passing, Ali lived in Paradise Valley, AZ, with his wife. He paid $1.6 million for the six-bedroom, 6,000-square-foot home in 2005, according to The Arizona Republic.
Devotees of the fighter can also take a pilgrimage to Ali's modest, pink childhood home in Louisville, KY, where a young Cassius Clay (his original name) once shared a bedroom with his brother, according to WDRB.
The two-bedroom, one-bathroom home opened as a museum last month after two investors (and die-hard Ali fans) poured about $300,000 into opening the home to the public, according to The Courier-Journal.