Muhammad Ali & His Legacy of Real Estate

Muhammad Ali & His Legacy of Real Estate

“What You Are Thinking About, You Are Becoming.” – Muhammad Ali 

ack in 2012, I attended the “David Foster 25th Anniversary Miracle Concert & Gala” in Victoria.  Along with David Foster, there were countless musicians and celebrities including Josh Groban, Sarah McLachlan, Sinbad, Wayne Gretzky, Rob Lowe, and Muhammad Ali.  I know, the question that you are probably asking yourself is why I would spend my money to go to a black tie affair such as this?  One of the things on my bucket list had always been to meet Muhammed Ali in person.  A few years ago, I was lucky enough to meet Sugar Ray Leonard and get my ringside ticket and a pair of boxing gloves autographed by him that proudly sit in my “man room” today.  My dad was an avid boxer and I truly have a love for the sport as a result.  Muhammad Ali was quite frail at the gala, and had several “handlers” who assisted him to eat and drink.  It was sad to see my childhood hero so ill, and yet there was something proud and strong about his mere presence.  No photos of him were permitted and attendees were unable to speak to him personally.  However, just seeing my hero is person is something that I will forever cherish, especially with his recent passing.


Muhammad Ali was passionate about real estate.  When he visited Vancouver in 1972, he was awestruck by the beauty of Stanley Park and commented that “it would be a great place to train”.  In fact, when he returned 2 years later, he stood outside his hotel and did magic tricks for the children walking down the street – much to the amazement of the parents!


Earlier this year, Ali’s childhood family home was purchased and renovated so that it looked identical to when a young Cassius Clay lived there in Louisville, Kentucky in 1955.  It is a 2 bedroom, one bathroom home and has been repainted the bright pink color it originally was.  A Las Vegas investor and longtime Ali fan co-own the home and have turned it into a museum whereby visitors can tour the home exactly as it was when Ali lived there.  They also purchased the home next door and have turned it into the gift store.  Interestingly, the museum opened for business in May, shortly before Ali’s passing.


In the book, “Running with the Champ: My Forty Year Friendship with Muhammad Ali”, author Tim Shanahan recalls friends accompanying Ali to view a home that was being offered for sale.  Ali had been cautioned that the $400,000 asking price was inflated and was worth closer to $250,000.  After viewing the home for 20 minutes, his friends found him in the kitchen signing off to purchase the home for its asking price.  When Ali was questioned about why he would pay the full price without any negotiating, Ali replied that the realtor had to make a living and that he had a family to feed, so he deserved the money for showing him the right house.  Ali’s business agent, Gene Dibble, remarked to Muhammad Ali “I’ve never met anyone who loves money so much and has so little regard for it.”  Ali replied to Dibble, “Come on man, you know how much they pay me to fight? I can afford to spread it around a little.”


Best Regards,

Brian McCullough, Myles McCullough & Kiel Lukaniuk


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