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Muhammad Ali

HUGE BASKETBALL FAN

... Rooting for Kentucky

4/7/2014 1:51 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0407_ali_instagramThe University of Kentucky has a huge fan pulling for them in tonight's NCAA Championship Game -- Muhammad Ali ... who, it turns out, is a HUUUGE basketball fan ... TMZ Sports has learned.

We spoke to two-time boxing champ Andre Berto who spent time with Ali this past weekend at the legend's home in Arizona. 

Berto says he was invited over by a mutual friend -- and says it was one of the greatest days of his entire life. 

"I told him how honored I was to meet him. I told him I appreciate him for giving me the inspiration and motivation to be a boxer."

The two spent hours hanging out -- with Ali dishing out all sorts of pearls of wisdom about life such as, "Stay focused on the task" and "Don't worry about the outside noise."

But the highlight, Berto says, was when they all gathered in front of the TV and watched the Final 4 championship games. 

Berto says Ali and his family are BIG TIME college basketball fans and were "cheering left and right" for Kentucky. For the record, Ali hails from the Bluegrass State ... and Berto says he's certainly rooting for UK in tonight's championship game. 

"It was definitely one of the greatest moments in my life," Berto says ... "Probably the greatest moment in my boxing life. To feel those hands, see those hands ... to feel that history. I think I got some of that good energy."

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
125 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

Columbo    

C ' Mon gorilla, we in Manila!! My favorite Ali line

207 days ago
17.

Columbo    

Boxing has sucked ever since he hung up the gloves. Fact

207 days ago
18.

Shaquille O'Neal     

Who gives a damn who this idiot is rooting for??!!! Why would we care?! I love how some people try to make this buffoon relevant!! Pathetic!!! Rocky would have kicked his butt!!!!

207 days ago
19.

soright    

Glad to see there's a Christian man in that photo with him. I hope Mr. Ali rejects his Muslim past and embraces the true savior before his time is up!

207 days ago
20.

Jazzi    

CC is my hero!

207 days ago
21.

DIAMOND    

People kill me making fun of old people, think about it, as sure as we all live, eventually we will all get there, he was not always that way, the aging process has no respective person....

207 days ago
22.

biggbear    

The things people say are so in sensitive Ali will always be an Icon Internationally!!!!!

207 days ago
23.

Ckl    

I have a lot of respect for the guy but he's looking a lot like Sidney Poitier in that picture.

207 days ago
24.

Peekie    

Sorry Ali but Uconn is going to win

207 days ago
25.

Dead@27    

Momma said Knock You Out.

207 days ago
26.

Jayjay    

Can't say anything bad about him.

207 days ago
27.

August    

Draft-Dodging Coward.....

207 days ago
28.

Diamond    

It's funny how people make fun of older people, not realizing that as sure as we all live we all will get there some day...Think about it...he was not always that way..time is no one's friend when it comes to aging.

207 days ago
29.

Just say'n    

There are a-holes and big a-holes. All the negative comments about Ali here are from big a-holes. For some stupid reason, you people get a moronic kick out of making fun of the greatest boxer of all time, who also has done more for charity and personal careers than all of you combined. I suggest you either remove your stupid comments or better yet .... GET A LIFE!

207 days ago
30.

Your S&M Girlfriend    

The Greatest! I'm so excited for the game tonight but i just can't decide a fave, so i'll just watch the game for the game.

207 days ago
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