Back in 1970, Tommy Connors watched Muhammad Ali make his triumphant return to the boxing ring in Atlanta - they were on the same fight card.
"The scary part about it - if they didn't take four years out of his prime, imagine how good he would have been," Connors said Saturday after Ali's death.
At Peter Welch's Gym in South Boston, Connors still trains fighters on occasion.
There's no debate about Ali's greatness after all these years. But this next generation of boxers is remembering more than just Ali's elite skills.
"I listened to a lot of his videos, just now, and he's still empowering people - empowering females, especially," said Jennifer Pelton.
Joe Pebrie, who wasn't even born during Ali's prime, says he respects the values he stood for.
"I know that he refused to go to the military, I know there are penalties and consequences for that, but I respect the fact he did that, because that's what he believed in, " said Pebrie.
While boxing may not have the same prestige and following, Connors says Ali will always remain larger than life.
"He was a credit to the human race," Connors said.