A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Jeff Hoover: Mitch McConnell cements legacy with Supreme Court confirmations; bold action prevailed

It wasn’t long ago in our nation that boxing was one of the preeminent sports. Like almost everyone near my age, I grew up watching some of the greats like George Foreman, Joe Frazier and Larry Holmes. Of course, none was greater than Kentucky’s own Muhammad Ali.   For nearly 20 years, Ali was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. He took on fighters younger and older than him, bigger...

Kentucky by Heart: From Lincoln to Ali to Henry Clay, everyone has their favorite colorful Kentuckian

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Who is your favorite Kentuckian from the annals of history books? Consider a person you find particularly fascinating who was Kentucky-born or, if not, made their mark while living in the state. Your choice may be one of sterling reputation, as mine is…or one of questionable repute—or some other in-between person. If one uses the term “colorful” in describing...

Former champ Holyfield bringing boxing back to Louisville with Real Deal Championship series

Four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and his company Real Deal Sports & Entertainment announced Friday that he will kick off his Real Deal Championship Boxing series June 24 at Freedom Hall in Louisville in partnership with locally based Top Knotch Boxing and Kentucky Venues. The undercard at Freedom Hall will consist of three amateur and eight professional bouts, including local boxers....

Billy Reed: King, Ali provided voices of both reason and revolution during turbulent times

From humble beginnings in the segregated South, they grew up to become the disparate voices of Black America in the 1960s, the dark and defining era when the nation was ripped asunder by two wars – one in the steamy jungles of Vietnam, the other in the streets and backroads of the Deep South. When Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was born in Louisville on Jan. 17, 1942, Martin Luther King Jr. was in Atlanta,...

Billy Reed: Juice Bowl incident shows it’s not acceptable to just stand by and do nothing

After this weekend’s conference championship football games, the euphoria at Kentucky and the shock at Louisville both will be penetrated by the news of what bowl games the teams have earned. Despite their stunning loss to the Wildcats, who entered the Governor’s Cup game as 26-point underdogs, the Cardinals are still entertaining faint hopes of the Orange Bowl. The Wildcats, on the other hand,...

Muhammad Ali tributes scheduled during Louisville-Florida State game, including helmet decals, videos

With the spotlight of a national audience focused on a showdown between two top-ranked teams, the University of Louisville will honor the legacy of boxing legend Muhammad Ali during Saturday’s noon kickoff at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. During the course of Saturday’s nationally televised match-up (Noon, ABC TV) between No. 2 Florida State and No. 10 Louisville, the Cardinals will conduct a...

Billy Reed: Ali taught us to have the courage of our convictions … no matter what the cost

LOUISVILLE – The funeral procession will slowly pass the places Muhammad Ali loved, the places of his youth: The little house on Grand Street where he grew up…Columbia Gym, where he learned to fight after his bicycle had been stolen…Central High, where he frustrated teachers but got a diploma…Freedom Hall, where he began his professional career in 1960. To those of us who live in Louisville,...

Billy Reed: King would have approved of Ali’s transformation into goodwill ambassador

From humble beginnings in the segregated South, they grew up to become the disparate voices of Black America in the 1960s, the dark and defining era when the nation was ripped asunder by two wars – one in the steamy jungles of Vietnam, the other in the streets and backroads of the Deep South. When Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was born in Louisville on Jan. 17, 1942, Martin Luther King Jr. was in Atlanta,...

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali — ‘The Greatest’ — dies at 74 after long battle with Parkinson’s

Staff report Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay in Louisville in 1942, who became a legend in his own time, died late Friday night in a hospital in Phoenix. He was 74. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week for respiratory problems and for over 30 years had been battling Parkinsons disease, a neurological affliction some experts attributed to blows to the head from two decades as a...

Billy Reed: Remembering Ali, one of our own who became larger than life as boxer, humanitarian

The last time I saw Muhammad Ali, he was confined to a wheelchair and could barely speak. This was last fall, when the top editors at Sports Illustrated, where I worked for a long time, came to Louisville to name a legends award in honor of the three-time heavyweight boxing champion and worldwide symbol of . . .well, let’s say that Ali was different things to different people. For those of us who...

Billy Reed: Special New Year’s wishes for some — and peace, happiness for everyone else

This is the time of year when lazy columnists get one out of the way by making New Year’s wishes for various friends, enemies, news sources, and other assorted characters who may pop into mind. So here we go: For the Cincinnati Bengals, at least one win in the NFL playoffs. For Marty Brennaman, legendary voice of the Cincinnati Reds, a supply of Advil to help him through what promises to be a headache...

Muhammad and Lonnie Ali set up $100,000 scholarship for Louisville baseball program

The $100,000 commitment for the scholarship includes a $50,000 honorarium Ali will receive when he is awarded the inaugural Grawemeyer Spirit Award on Sept. 17, and the additional $50,000 is from an anonymous donor who matched the amount (UofL Athletics Graphic)   Muhammad and Lonnie Ali have made a donation to University of Louisville Athletics to endow the Muhammad Ali Leadership Baseball Scholarship,...

Billy Reed: Muhammad Ali in twilight still inspiration to those who grew up with him

“My mother was a Baptist, and when I was growing up, she taught me all she knew about God.” — Muhammad Ali, to biographer Thomas Hauser   Here at Christmas, I am thinking about the most famous Muslim in the world. It is because he is sick and I am worried about him. A few days ago, Muhammad Ali was hospitalized with pneumonia, and that is not a trifling matter when you are almost 73...

Billy Reed: Muhammad Ali in twilight still inspiration to those who grew up with him

“My mother was a Baptist, and when I was growing up, she taught me all she knew about God.” — Muhammad Ali, to biographer Thomas Hauser   Here at Christmas, I am thinking about the most famous Muslim in the world. It is because he is sick and I am worried about him. A few days ago, Muhammad Ali was hospitalized with pneumonia, and that is not a trifling matter when you are almost 73...

Billy Reed: Ali’s old ‘Rope-a-Dope’ strategy works again, this time Louisville’s the victim

For the longest time on this chilly October night, it looked as if the biggest game ever played in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium had been scripted by the University of Louisville drama school.   The Cardinals were not only holding their own against unbeaten defending national champion Florida State, they were actually dominating the Seminoles and their infamous quarterback, Jameis Winston, the...

Billy Reed: Ali's old 'Rope-a-Dope' strategy works again, this time Louisville's the victim

For the longest time on this chilly October night, it looked as if the biggest game ever played in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium had been scripted by the University of Louisville drama school.   The Cardinals were not only holding their own against unbeaten defending national champion Florida State, they were actually dominating the Seminoles and their infamous quarterback, Jameis Winston, the...

Coach Colene: Whether changing the world
or changing a world, both equally important

  By Colene Elridge KyForward columnist   I’ve mentioned before about how amazing my mother is. She was a single mother raising two small children and had to make hard decisions by herself. I think a lot about how I am now the same age she was when she was raising my brother and me. I’m not sure how she did it with such grace and determination, but I’m so thankful that she showed me...

Coach Colene: Whether changing the world or changing a world, both equally important

  By Colene Elridge KyForward columnist   I’ve mentioned before about how amazing my mother is. She was a single mother raising two small children and had to make hard decisions by herself. I think a lot about how I am now the same age she was when she was raising my brother and me. I’m not sure how she did it with such grace and determination, but I’m so thankful that she showed me...

Patient turns her Parkinson’s diagnosis
into a way to help others cope with disease

By Jodi Whitaker Special to KyForward     When Janet Greene heard the words come out of her doctor’s mouth, she sat in disbelief.   “You have Parkinson’s disease,” Dr. John Slevin, neurologist at UK HealthCare who specializes in the disorder, told her.   Greene, just 49 years old, said nothing. She did not even realize the evaluation had begun. She had walked...

From sports page to front page to legend, Muhammad Ali's life a transformational saga

By John Edward Faulkner Special to KyForward   In 1897 the then newly published Marquess of Queensberry Rules revised boxing’s code of regulations to bring a sense of sportsmanship, fair play and respectability to the sport. It states, “You must not fight simply to win; no holds barred is not the way; you must win by the rules.” All’s fair in love and war, yet boxing is neither, despite...