The man many consider to be the greatest boxer of all time will receive the 2012 Liberty Medal in a presentation at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. not because he was a champion in the ring, but because he was "a champion of freedom"
Muhammad Ali will be presented with the award by his daughter, boxer Laila Ali, as well as by Claressa Shields, who became America's first gold-medal winning women's boxer, and gold-medal rower Susan Francia, who is from the Philadelphia area. Ali's wife, Lonnie, will accept the award on behalf of the 70-year-old boxer.
The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. and be broadcast live on WPVI-TV/6 ABC.
There will be presentations by Terrence Howard, who portrayed Ali in film, Dikembe Mutombo, who is a trustee of the Constitution Center and was a boy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo when Ali had his famous Rumble in the Jungle, Pennsylvania governor Thomas W. Corbett, and Philadelphia mayor Michael A. Nutter as well as others. Roberta Flack will perform as well.
The National Constitution Center says they are honoring Ali as "a living embodiment of the Constitution who exemplifies everything the award was established to honor: individuals of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe." The award is a special one as the center looks to celebrate the 225th birthday of the U.S. Constitution.