Georgia State ended up with brief place in Muhammad Ali’s career

Georgia State University’s Dahlberg Hall was the site of a key moment in the career of heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali, who died on Friday at the age of 74.

Dahlberg Hall was known as Municipal Auditorium in 1970 and was where Ali defeated Jerry Quarry in 1970 in his first fight in almost four years.

The website ringtv wrote an excellent remembrance of the fight, which included these paragraphs:

“So it was the height of irony that it was Atlanta, a city that occupied the heart of the Deep South, that provided the breakthrough. State Senator Leroy Johnson and Governor Lester Maddox helped pave the way for a most improbable return by persuading the City of Atlanta Athletic Commission to grant Ali a boxing license on Aug. 12, 1970. Shortly thereafter, it was announced Ali would fight Jerry Quarry on Oct. 26 at the City Auditorium in Atlanta. The bout was scheduled for 15 rounds, probably in recognition of Ali’s status as lineal heavyweight champion.”


“A sell-out crowd of more than 5,000 jammed into the City Auditorium to witness an event some equated to a Second Coming.

“It was like nothing I’d ever seen,” former NAACP chairman Julian Bond told (author Thomas) Hauser. “The black elite of America was there. It was a coronation; the King regaining his throne. The whole audience was composed of stars; legitimate stars, underworld stars. You had all these people from the fast lane who were there, and the style of dress was fantastic. Men in ankle-length fur coats; women wearing smiles and pearls and not much else. It was more than a fight, and it was an important moment for Atlanta, because that night, Atlanta came into its own as the black political capital of America.”