Red bike tribute to 'The Greatest' stolen

Red bike tribute to 'The Greatest' stolen
Published: Aug. 19, 2016 at 7:04 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2016 at 1:52 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The tribute at Spalding University set up to honor Muhammad Ali has been stolen.

Shortly after the June 3 death of the three-time heavyweight boxing champion, the university hung a red bicycle over the main entrance of University Center, the former Columbia Gym.

Friday, Spalding officials said the bicycle was missing.

While only a replica bike, Spalding University's Chief Marketing Officer Rick Barney said it had a strong sentimental value after it was put up by the university's president.

"People from all over the world would just stop on Fourth Street, and take some pictures," Barney said. "It's become a very popular piece of our history."

Red bike marks spot where Ali learned to box

Columbia Gym was the place where 12-year-old Cassius Clay met Joe Martin, a Louisville Police Department officer, and told him his beloved bike had been stolen. Martin became Clay's boxing coach.

"We're very proud of that story, that our history is tired to the beginning of Muhammad's boxing career," Barney said. "We'd love to have it returned, no questions asked. It's quite important to us."

Anyone with information about the missing bicycle is asked to contact the school by email at or returned the bicycle to the Spalding University security office at 859 Library Lane.

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