Ali feted at annual Vegas birthday benefit

Feb. 19, 2012 at 3:44 PM
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LAS VEGAS, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The gloves Muhammad Ali wore in his bout with Floyd Patterson were auctioned for $750,000 at a Las Vegas gala in the former champ's honor, the organizers said.

The proceeds were earmarked for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which was the overall beneficiary of Saturday's event at the MGM Grand, which marked Ali's 70th birthday.

Station Casinos executive Lorenzo Fertitta outbid Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for the vintage gloves, which were used in Ali's epic 1965 title fight with Patterson.

The auction was a highlight of a star-studded night that included an all-star roster of Vegas celebrities and a rousing version of "Happy Birthday" led by Stevie Wonder. President Obama sent a video message that was played for the crowd.

The Las Vegas Sun said Ali was in attendance but did not speak. Ali, who is afflicted with Parkinson's Disease, was actually born in January.

The Sun said the total proceeds from the event were still being tallied but had topped $20 million in past years.

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