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Ali Delights Olympic Boxing Crowd

September 16, 2000

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Muhammad Ali livened up the opening Olympic boxing session Saturday (Friday night EDT), bringing the crowd to its feet for a roaring ovation when he appeared between rounds of a 119-pound match.

Ali walked past the ring between the first and second rounds of the match between Theimuraz Khurtsilava of Georgia and Aram Ramazyan of Armenia, and spectators responded by giving him a standing ovation.

The cornermen for the Georgian boxer stopped their work to watch as Ali hugged Joe Bugner, whom he beat for the heavyweight title in 1975 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Bugner, who now lives in Australia, is working as a boxing commentator at the competition.

Between rounds, several dozen spectators ran down to ringside to take pictures of the former heavyweight champion.

Ali had appeared the night before at the opening ceremony and made an appearance earlier in the week at a pre-Olympic event.

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