Ali passed away late Friday night and is one of the most influential people in history.

Ali passed away late Friday night and is one of the most influential people in history.

Baltimore, MD (June 6, 2016) – In 1977, long before becoming a pro boxer, trainer, gym owner, successful promoter and member of the Maryland and Washington DC Boxing Hall of Fames, Jake Smith was scheduled for his first amateur fight in Maryland.

The 12-year-old Smith was excited to fight in front of a crowd for the first time after spending a significant amount of time training in a local gym. The fight was on a card as part of a special charity event; an event hosted by legendary heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali.

Prior to the fight, Smith got to meet Ali. Inspired by the once in a lifetime encounter, Smith remembers every detail to this day and considers it one of the highlights of his life.

“Muhammad was a giant compared to me at that time,” Smith said of his interaction with the legendary Ali. “He told me good luck and to go out there and put on a show. It was my first fight but it was one of my best performances amateur or pro. I really beat the crap out of the kid I faced that night.”

Later that evening, Ali participated in an exhibition against three different men as part of the evening’s fundraising efforts.

“Ali was a champion not just of the boxing world but of the people. He came out to Maryland when he was the most recognizable athlete in the world with the most coveted crown in sports, the heavyweight championship. A lot of guys wouldn’t do that and his willingness to help raise money truly showed me the kind of human being Muhammad Ali was.”

On June 16, Smith’s company Baltimore Boxing is hosting their next card at Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, MD. The card is headlined by a heavyweight title fight featuring rising star Stefon “Showtime” McCray against Milton Williams.

During the evening, Smith and Baltimore Boxing will pay respects to Ali with a ceremonial ten count and their upcoming show in August will be dubbed “Rumble Young Man Rumble” in his honor.

“Ali is more than a once in a lifetime figure. He’s somebody that will never be replicated at any time in the rest of history. It’s only fitting that we honor him with a ceremonial ten count. It’s unlikely that Ali remembered me but knowing that the greatest of all time was watching me in the ring that night is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”

Tickets and more information on the card are available by going to Baltimoreboxing.com or calling 410-375-9175.

Contact: Matt Yanofsky (Publicist) – 551-206-0578