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Cheers for Ali at literary ceremony in NY

Associated Press Modified: October 5, 2012 at 12:30 am •  Published: October 5, 2012

A brief clip from Cavett's talk show was screened, showing Ali and rival boxer Joe Frazier jokingly lifting the lightweight Cavett in the air. The ceremony program featured an old picture of Ali, teeth gritted in mock determination, as he arm wrestled with Mailer.

Ali was helped to his table after the Ethics prize was given, Baldwin returned to the front and honorary awards from the Mailer center were handed to historian Robert Caro, novelist Joyce Carol Oates and the widow of publisher Barney Rosset, who died earlier this year. Ali stayed until the end. According to Mailer center president Lawrence Schiller, he was a fan of Oates, who has written often about boxing, and wanted to hear her speech.