Ali celebrates his 70th in style

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The Independent Online

Muhammad Ali was set to celebrate his impending 70th birthday with the first of five parties last night. The three-time world heavyweight champion, sometimes hailed as the greatest sportsman of all time, was back in his hometown in Kentucky to mark the milestone.

Ali, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, actually turns 70 on Tuesday, but, in true "I am the greatest" style, five parties have been scheduled over the next couple of months.

Last night at the Muhammad Ali Center, a museum set up in his name in Louisville, Ali's trainer, Angelo Dundee, and former champ Lennox Lewis were among the guests. Singer John Mellencamp led the entertainment.

Ali's wife, Lonnie, said: "He's glad he's to turn 70, but he wants to be reassured he doesn't look 70." Invitees to Ali's party were asked to pay $1,000 for a ticket to raise money for the museum, which doubles as an educational resource for students.