Photo Story: Thomas Hoepker, 'Ali and Belinda'

With Ali: Photos by Thomas Hoepker coming October 1 to Milk Gallery, we asked Thomas to share a few stories behind some of his favorite photographs from the collection. Catch up on the the first if you missed it, and then read the second below, where Thomas recalls Ali’s romantic side.

We were cruising in Chicago’s South side when Ali asked his driver to stop in front of a small bakery. He got out and after a good while came back with a paper bag of doughnuts. “Best in town”, he said. I was surprised because I knew that he was on a strict diet of steak and salad during his training. But an hour or so later, we were back in the neighborhood. Ali spotted the bakery and went in for a refill of doughnuts.

When we stopped there for the third time, I got out of the car with him and followed him into the shop. Then I understood: The Champ was not so much interested in the doughnuts but obviously in the daughter of the baker. The two flirted heavily and had a great time. I took a few quick snaps of the doughnut lovers. Four years later, we visited Muhammad in his new, opulent home in Philadelphia. And there she was again, Belinda Boyd, the baker’s pretty daughter and now Muhammad’s second wife and mother of – then – three girls.

Ali: Photos by Thomas Hoepker runs from October 1 through 20 in Milk Gallery. RSVP for the opening night reception here, but keep in mind that space is very limited.

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