Fight Night Raises Record Amount To Benefit Parkinson Center, Others

On Saturday, March 24, stars and athletes from around the country converged at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix or Muhammad Ali’s Celebrity Fight Night XVIII. GRAMMY Award winning leading lady of country music Reba McEntire returned for her seventh year as emcee at the event, which also celebrated Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday.

With Ali on stage, NFL Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals, Starkey Labs CEO and Founder Bill Austin and philanthropists and founders of Discount Tire Diane and Bruce Halle were honored with the 2012 Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Awards. Previous Celebrity Fight Night honoree Bob Parsons of Go Daddy, also kicked off the evening with a special $1 million donation.

Following the awards, guests were treated to performances by Rascal Flatts, Miley Cyrus, Rita Wilson, Michael Johns, Jackie Evancho, Sinbad and Lionel Richie – all under the direction of multiple GRAMMY Award winning musical director David Foster. The evening concluded with a special cake presentation from “Cake Boss” for Ali’s birthday.

The black tie event also featured cocktails, a silent auction, an elegant dinner and an exciting live auction featuring one-of-a-kind luxury items. Celebrity Fight Night XVIII raised a total of $9.1 million benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other charities. Each year dozens of celebrity guests attend the event that has raised nearly $80 million dollars in 18 years.

Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker and supports the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, as well as several other charities. For more information, visit

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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