Muhammad Ali’s name to go on airport in Kentucky hometown

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              FILE - In this May 25, 1965, file photo, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali stands over fallen challenger Sonny Liston shortly after dropping him with a short hard right to the jaw in Lewiston, Maine. Ali's Kentucky hometown will honor the late boxer by renaming its airport for him. The Louisville Regional Airport Authority's board voted Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, to change the name to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. Ali would have turned 77 Thursday. He died in 2016. (AP Photo/John Rooney, File)
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Muhammad Ali’s Kentucky hometown will honor the late boxer by renaming its airport for him.

The Louisville Regional Airport Authority’s board voted Wednesday to change the name to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. Ali would have turned 77 Thursday. He died in 2016.

Ali’s widow, Lonnie Ali, said in a news release from the board that she is proud of the name change. She said although Ali was a “global citizen,” he never forgot his hometown.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer cited research showing that Ali’s name recognition is greater than Louisville’s and said he’s organizing a group to work toward celebrating Ali’s Louisville ties more broadly.

The airport board said the decision came after a working group studied renaming the airport for more than a year.