Muhammad Ali Muslim-American boxer
Source: Flickr

On Wednesday, the American city of Louisville in Kentucky announced that its airport will be renamed after hometown Muslim boxer, Muhammad Ali. 

The airport will officially take the name Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport following a unanimous vote in response to a recommendation by a working group. 

The American-Muslim heavyweight champion boxer, formerly Cassius Marcellus Clay, dubbed himself "The Greatest of All Time." That's not surprising considering he was the first fighter to win the world heavyweight championship on three separate occasions; defending this title an impressive 19 times.

Ali was not just acclaimed for his legacy as one of the greatest boxers to ever exist, but also for his social activism and profound words. He is also considered one of the main symbols of the American civil rights movement. 

He publicly opposed the Vietnam War, which led to his imprisonment, and spoke out for black pride and against Trump's Islamophobia during his presidential campaign in 2016. The boxer died in 2016 decades after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

"This tells the world how proud we are to associate 'The Greatest' with not only our great city, but our great airport," said Jim Welch, chairman of the Airport Authority Board, in a statement.

According to CNN, the airport's three-letter identifier (SDF) will not change. 

The announcement came a day before Ali's birthday (Jan. 17). He would've turned 77-years-old today.

"This. Is. Awesome!"

Lots of references were made

Ali is known for his motivational words of wisdom, including this pretty famous line:

"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee – his hands can't hit what his eyes can't see."

"Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown"

Airport officials are currently awaiting approval from Ali's family, but have said an agreement is near, according to The Hill. 

"I think we are 99 percent there with that agreement, so that would really be the second step which we think we can execute in the next week or two," said Dan Mann, executive director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority.

"Awesome way to honor the greatest"