City of Phoenix renames West Merrell Street after Muhammad Ali

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - June 3 marks the anniversary of the death of American boxing legend and community activist Muhammad Ali.

"Muhammad Ali means so much to so many people and when I come to the Barrow Neurological Institute or the Muhammad Ali Parkinson's center, I ain't coming down Thomas Road anymore. I'm coming down the Muhammad Ali Way," said Jimmy Walker, founder of Celebrity Fight Night.

Three years ago, Ali passed away in his fight against Parkinson's disease.

In honor of the late Phoenix resident, the city has renamed West Merrell Street "Muhammad Ali Way."

"When I drive down the Muhammad Ali way, I'm going to have a smile and good memories because of the love and respect I've had for Ali and I've said it many times, just for the record, but they don't make them like him anymore," Walker said.

The new street signs, between Central and Third Avenues, were unveiled during a private ceremony with city officials, community leaders and patients and staff of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute.

Since Ali's passing, the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center has grown significantly as one of the best in the world, treating over 1,200 patients a year.

"He never said, 'I can't do it,' so that has become the motto for many of our patients," said Linda Hunt of Dignity Health Arizona. "We can do it."

In his memory, the City of Phoenix is also marking June 3 as another special day, always remembering the legacy Ali left behind.

"Today, June 3, 2019, is Muhammad Ali Day in honor of the legacy in Phoenix at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson's Center."