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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
46.

Jordan    

Congratulations To the NCAA Men's Basketball Champions UCONN!!!!!!!!!!!!

200 days ago
47.

Shaquille O'Neal     

Obviously Ali cursed Kentucky and they lost. Nice pic too. Handsome man...

200 days ago
48.

FireChixRock    

Ignorance... Keep making fun of an elderly man with Parkinson's disease... I'm sure you're all going to be super models when you're elderly.... Or even now...

200 days ago
49.

DaveL    

Oh he's not looking very good at all.

Some of you younger people here may not realize just how great of a man Muhammad Ali actually is and how important he was to civil rights here in America during the 60s. He was much more than the heavy weight champion of the world. He was and is a role model.

Muhammad Ali has demonstrated exactly what it is to be a man. He has always stood by his moral decisions even when it meant standing up to the government and facing prison time. He is a genuine bad ass. He is the greatest.

200 days ago
50.

NameNotImportat    

Not a shocker, he was born in Louisville, Kentucky..

200 days ago
51.

Sherms    

It pains me to see pictures of him, and what his career did to him. Maybe the greatest of all time, but quite sad now.

199 days ago
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