On February 14, 1973 Muhammad Ali was set to fight heavyweight Joe Bugner at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Elvis Presley visited Muhammad Ali in Ali’s hotel room just before the fight and presented him with an “Elvis Presley Style” robe lined with rhinestones and jewels and had “People’s Choice” in large letters made of rhinestones on the back. Ali thanked Elvis for the robe then went directly to the Las Vegas Convention Center for his fight against Bugner. Ali did not wear the “Elvis robe” for his fight that night and he went on to win a unanimous decision. A month later on March 31, 1973, Ali did wear the “Elvis robe” for his fight against Ken Norton in San Diego, California. Muhammad Ali lost his fight against Norton and never wore the robe into the ring again as he considered it bad luck.
The jewel-studded robe bearing the inscription “The People’s Choice” is currently on display at the six-level 96,000-square-foot Muhammad Ali Center, bordering the Ohio River in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.
“Elvis was my close personal friend. He came to my Deer Lake training camp about two years before he died. He told us he didn’t want nobody to bother us. He wanted peace and quiet and I gave him a cabin in my camp and nobody even knew it. When the cameras started watching me train, he was up on the hill sleeping in the cabin. Elvis had a robe made for me. I don’t admire nobody, but Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you’d want to know.” – Muhammad Ali