Jimmy’s Best Fight Night Highlights

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Posted By on March 1, 2017

A collection of anecdotes gathered during an interview with Celebrity Fight Night founder Jimmy Walker.

“The best moment is just sitting next to Muhammad Ali and just watching him, observing him. He loved it. He loved being Muhammad Ali. He loved the attention and he got the attention.”

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“A couple humorous moments I’ll never forget: When Reba McIntyre comes up and she’s trying to get everybody quiet. It’s really loud. We’re honoring Jim Carrey that year and Jim stands up on the table and screams to the audience to shut up, saying, ‘This is Reba McIntyre, queen of country.’ And then Robin Williams is five feet over and Robin stands up on the table and he starts screaming in Japanese. And he went on and on. And he and Carrey were going back and forth and this lasted six, seven minutes. It was really funny and I had people later ask if I had planned that. How do you plan that? I said how could you plan Jim Carrey and Robin Williams, those two?”

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“My son came to me the next day after the event and said, ‘Dad, you’re not going to believe this but I was in the bathroom and Robin Williams was in there and he’s got a football game going and he’s the quarterback … with a roll of toilet paper and he was throwing passes and I was going out for passes catching toilet paper from Robin Williams. And he was calling himself Joe Montana.”

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“I’ll never forget Halle Berry. When we honored Halle – I met her at Clive Davis’s party, just sitting down at a table and visiting with her. She wanted to come to our event and she did. I remember when we honored her and she got up there and said, ‘You know, I married all these other men, I should’ve married Muhammad Ali.’ And Muhammad’s right next to her and Lonnie Ali said, ‘Well there he is, he’s all yours, take him.’”

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“I’ll never forget meeting Andrea Bocelli. I was with [former Suns and Diamondbacks owner] Jerry Colangelo and his wife Joan. We were in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton in New York and Jerry says to me that Andrea Bocelli’s at the elevator. I said, ‘excuse me’ and I hustled to the elevator and I put my hand in the elevator to stop it from going up and I said to Andrea: ‘You and I have a mutual friend in [famed record producer and Fight Night musical director] David Foster.’ I knew David did his music.”

“He didn’t say too much so I had to come up with something better. So I said, “Well I do this event in Phoenix with Muhammad Ali … and right then he stopped and said, ‘Do you know Muhammad Ali? He’s my hero, he’s my favorite. I’ve always wanted to meet him all my life.’ So I said, ‘Andrea, I know you’re coming to Phoenix next week and if you’d like, if he’s in town, we could go out to his house.’ He said, ‘I can go to Muhammad Ali’s house?!’

“Long story short, Nancy and I go to the Ritz Carlton, pick up Andrea, the conductor and four or five Italians, and we go to Muhammad’s house in Gainey Ranch. We’re walking up to the front door, I hardly even know Andrea, and I said, ‘By the way, Andrea, it’s Muhammad’s wife’s birthday today.’ And Lonnie opens the door and he sings happy birthday to her. So then she opens the door and I’m making an introduction of a blind man to a man that can’t speak. I’m trying to get them together. Andrea gets near Muhammad and kisses him a couple times, gets down on his knees and said, ‘Muhammad, I’m humbled and honored to be near you, this is the biggest thrill of my life.’ He gets up and kisses him again and then Muhammad whispers, ‘You sing to me.’ And he sang an Italian opera song right there in the living room.”

“And the next night we’re in the arena, we’re in the front row, Nancy and I and Muhammad and Lonnie. Bocelli comes out with boxing gloves on and in front of 16,000 people he said, ‘My dream came true – I met Muhammad Ali.’ It gives you goosebumps.”

“Later Andrea said [when talking about the elevator encounter]: ‘I thought this guy Jimmy was a robber.  But now he’s my friend.’ He considered me a robber.”

Mike Saucier

About Mike Saucier

Mike Saucier is the Editor of Frontdoors Media. He can be reached at editor@frontdoorsmedia.com.

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