Muhammad Ali Sculpture Erected with 1,300 Punching Bags

Mar 31, 2011, 11:39 by David Hope

Muhammad Ali is one of the most famous athletes in history, and his recognition far exceeds that within the United States. Earlier this month, Ali traveled to Iran in an effort to free American hikers. This week though, Ali is making news in a more lighthearted manner.

A new sculpture of former boxer Muhammad Ali is now on display in downtown Los Angeles, standing over two stories tall and made of 1,300 punching bags, five miles of stainless steel, and two miles of aluminum tubing.

Ali's wife, Yolanda, recruited California artist Michael Kalish three years ago for a family piece after she saw his artwork on license plates, which led to this sculpture.

Along with making a name for himself in boxing, Ali spoke out against the Vietnam War, raised money for Parkinson's research, which he has lived with for decades, and raised funds for hunger-related aid. He also lectures about tolerance and racial equality.

The portrait of Ali is on display in Nokia Plaza through April 9 when it will go on tour across the country.