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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami Gym is helping the wife of a former boxer who is said to have taught Muhammad Ali the rope-a-dope tactic.

His name was Levi Forte and now his wife, Margia is getting help from a Miami gym.

The gym is run by Mickey Demos, who told his boxing class about Margia’s husband of 54 years.

Levi had been a boxer who trained and sparred against Muhammad Ali, the ‘greatest of all time.’

Forte came up with the rope-a-dope tactic after having faced George Foreman himself and going the distance.

The tactic involves covering up, leaning back against the ropes and allow the opponent to become exhausted during the first part of the fight and then unloading on the opponent in the later rounds.

Forte first met Ali when he was a bellman at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach.

Earlier in the spring, Forte succumbed to an opponent he could not defeat, cancer. Battling the illness sapped his strength and his savings.

Forte’s last wish had been for his ashes to return to his native Alabama by his mother’s gravesite and when Demos heard about Margia’s plight, he stepped in to help.

For Demos, a long-time boxer himself, holding a fundraiser was a no-brainer.

“Boxers are always there for boxers,” Demos said.

The boxing ring is not known as a place for compassion but during this holiday season, the center of this gym has the spirit of giving. One that Margia only wishes Levi were alive to see.


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