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New York City-based Clear Channel Outdoor recently paid tribute to boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who was laid to rest Friday in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday.
The company honored the man known as “The Champ” by running a tribute on its digital network of nearly 1,000 billboards across the country, including in major markets such as New York, Chicago, Miami and Minneapolis. In New York City, for example, Clear Channel’s tribute ran on its billboard in Penn Station, directly across from Madison Square Garden, the scene of many of Ali’s legendary fights.
The images the company ran included an action shot depicting Ali ducking out of the way of a left hook thrown by one of his chief rivals, “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier, and another that showed three emojis harkening Ali’s classic catch-phrase of “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
Ali died June 3 in a Phoenix-area hospital of septic shock at the age of 74. An Olympic gold medal winner who later was crowned heavyweight champion of the world, Ali was one of the most famous figures of the 20th century, whose fame transcended the world of boxing and made him a living legend. Parkinson’s Disease affected the last decades of his life, but he gained even more stature for the dignified way he carried himself in public, even as his body was ravaged by that incurable disease.