John Madden’s Son Fights to Save Muhammad Ali’s Secluded Camp in Schuylkill County

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Mike Madden, the son of former NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden, is fighting to save Muhammad Ali’s secluded camp northwest of Philadelphia, where one of the greatest boxers of all time spent eight years training, writes Frank Fitzpatrick for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The remote hideaway in Schuylkill County is full of small details that tell the story of the legendary boxer’s time there. This includes Ali’s frustrated carving of his weight of “8-8-78. At 227 ¾!” made before his rematch with Leon Spinks in September 1978.

That and other inscriptions are being discovered as part of a major restoration at the Deer Lake Training Camp.

The new owner, who is no stranger to famous sportsmen, thanks to his father, now envisions the restored training camp as a combined museum, educational center, corporate retreat, and tourist attraction.

“We’d like to create something where future generations can get a feel for who this man was and what he did in the world of sports and society,” said Mike Madden. “What else is there like this place? People go to hall of fames at Canton or Cooperstown or Springfield to see various things. But it’s all right here. This is where it happened.”

Read more about Muhammad Ali’s former training camp in Schuylkill County in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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