A Pennsylvania state historical marker was unveiled and dedicated June 3 at Fighter’s Heaven, the former training camp of Muhammad Ali near Deer Lake. The special dedication ceremony took place on the seventh anniversary of the heavyweight boxing legend’s passing.
The event included appearances and speeches by camp owner Mike Madden, former two-time heavyweight champ Tim Witherspoon, Hall of Fame boxing trainer and Pottsville native Aaron Snowell and David Pollack, son of Bernard Pollack, who once owned the property.
Representing the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission was Commissioner Bill Lewis.
“This is important in the history of Pennsylvania, the United States and the world,” Lewis said, referring to Ali’s enduring popularity long after his death. “His fame and the fame of this spot is amazing.”
Mike Madden, son of the late NFL Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster John Madden, bought the camp shortly after Ali’s death in 2016 with the initial goal of just preserving this historic site. After extensive restoration work, it has evolved into a first-class historical and educational venue.
Speaking at the ceremony, Madden thanked everyone who made it possible for him to purchase the property and to everyone in Schuylkill County who welcomed him and his ideas.
“We’re here in the name of history,” he said. “There hasn’t been a man like Muhammad Ali before and there hasn’t been one since.”
Since 1946, these historical markers have been put in place around the state to chronicle the people, places and events that have affected the lives of Pennsylvanians over the centuries.
Source: Berkshire mont