There are fans and then there is Jared Weiss, who apparently is such a staunch supporter of icon Muhammad Ali that he purchased “The Champ’s” rickety childhood home in Louisville, Ken.
Louisville realtor Dave Lambrechts told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Weiss, a Las Vegas real estate investor, closed on the property, paying $70,000 for the small white house with a sagging front porch overhang in a western Louisville neighborhood made up of mostly neat, modest homes.
“The guy’s a huge Ali fan, and that’s what kind of spurred this,” Lambrechts said.
The home already has a state historical marker out front recognizing the residence as the home of Ali when he was a boy named Cassius Clay. The marker says Ali lived in the mostly black neighborhood with his parents and brother and attended local public schools.
It was at the home where the future boxing champion’s “values were instilled,” the marker says.
“Ali’s childhood home is really symbolic for the area,” Lambrechts said.
Ali and his wife, Lonnie, have multiple residences but do not live in Louisville. However, they remain linked to the city by the Muhammad Ali Center, a downtown museum and education center that is one of the city’s prime tourist attractions. Ali came home for a 70th birthday bash in January.
Lambrechts says the new owner wants to restore the home to how it looked when Ali lived in it.
He said Weiss hasn’t finalized his plans but won’t use it as rental property. Among the options being considered are turning the home into a museum or using it for some charitable function.
The house had been under private ownership and was assessed at $23,260, according to the Jefferson County Property Value Administrator’s website. Former owner Steve Stephenson had said he was asking $50,000.