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Lopez wasn’t aware Muhammad Ali was at Hi Corbett

Muhammad Ali watched the game from behind the Louisville dugout. ESPN3.com screenshot

Muhammad Ali was in attendance for the Arizona-Louisville game on Saturday night — not that Wildcats coach Andy Lopez noticed.

Ali, a Louisville native who lives in Scottsdale, sat behind the Cardinals dugout and stayed for several innings. UA used a five-run third inning to take control, winning 16-4.

“I did not know that,” Lopez said when asked in the postgame press conference if he had been aware of Ali’s presence.

“I wish I had known that. … He was someone I really like to watch fight. He was unbelievable. My uncle was a lightweight champion of Mexico. One of cousins was a Golden Gloves champion. And I actually had a few boxing matches as a kid growing up. He was someone I admired in terms of his size and speed and his ability to take a punch.”

He connected that physical punch-taking to figurative punch-taking in baseball.

“I tell these guys all the time, you have to be able to take a punch. Even in baseball,” Lopez said. “If they score three, you have to be able to come back.”

Join the discussion: Who are the most famous people to visit to Hi Corbett?

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