To Tony Kelly’s surprise, not only did he get to meet "The Greatest," he also got to wish Ali a happy 72nd birthday.
"I was working at a house. It was just a normal day at work and guys were joking around with me telling me how Muhammad Ali lived next door and I didn't really believe them at the start," Kelly said. "Mr. Ali's wife, Yolanda, answered the door and I explained to her I was a fan from Ireland and she said Muhammad would love to meet an Irish fan. He was unavailable, but she told me to come back in an hour's time."
Kelly moved to Louisville after marrying his wife in November 2012.
"He was just sitting there. I was star struck. It was just great to meet him. I shook his hand. He posed for a couple pictures with me. It's very cool," Kelly said. "Just everything about him, his attitude and way it changed the sport. The guy is a legend and all the work he's done for humanity as well."
After posting a photo of himself and Ali on his Facebook page, the picture went viral thanks to Kelly’s friends in Ireland. "I didn't think much of it. I didn't think it would actually catch on the way it did," he said.
Following the once-in-a-lifetime meeting, Kelly said he "was over the moon."