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Boxing great Muhammad Ali pays tribute to Mandela

Members of the Toronto Children's Chorus choral group from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who are on a tour taking part in the Ihlombe South African Choral Festival, hug each other as they observe some of the get-well messages and flowers, after singing outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa Saturday, July 13, 2013. Nelson Mandela is responding to treatment and the 94-year-old's condition remains critical but stable after more than a month in the hospital, South Africa's president said on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Members of the Toronto Children's Chorus choral group from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who are on a tour taking part in the Ihlombe South African Choral Festival, hug each other as they observe some of the get-well messages and flowers, after singing outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa Saturday, July 13, 2013. Nelson Mandela is responding to treatment and the 94-year-old's condition remains critical but stable after more than a month in the hospital, South Africa's president said on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Muhammad Ali is remembering Nelson Mandela as a symbol of forgiveness who overcame racial injustice as the boxing great joins in mourning the death of the anti-apartheid leader.

An Ali Center spokeswoman in Louisville said Thursday that the two icons met twice, once in South Africa and once in North America.

Ali said in a statement released by the Ali Center that Mandela inspired others to "reach for what appeared to be impossible" and to break through barriers. He said the South African leader could not be restrained by racial and economic injustices, and that Mandela taught forgiveness "on a grand scale."

Among the exhibits at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville is a photo of Ali and Mandela, their hands clenched into fists as if they're boxing.


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