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Thousands Of Bees Swarmed Near A Mural At The Muhammad Ali Memorial Center

The mural features the boxing great's famous quote "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." A local beekeeper said he has never seen bees swarm near the mural before.

Posted on June 6, 2016, at 9:39 a.m. ET

A swarm of bees appeared near a mural in Louisville, Kentucky, honoring the late Muhammad Ali through one of his most famous quotes: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."

A coincidence or a sign from #MuhammadAli? Thousands of bees swarm tree near Ali mural. Story tonight on @WLKY

A swarm of bees gathered on a tree Sunday morning next to the "Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee" mural across from the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, the champion boxer's hometown.

Beekeeper Kevin McKinney, who was called in to gather the bees, told WLKY that he had never before seen a swarm near the mural.

WLKY / Via wlky.com

McKinney estimated there were about 15,000 near the mural.

"It was a very big swarm," he said.

Ali famously coined the catchphrase "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" in October 1974 before regaining the heavyweight championship title in a fight against George Foreman.

View this video on YouTube

misterals / Via youtube.com

"You think the world was shocked when Nixon resigned?" said Ali. "Wait 'til I whup George Foreman's behind. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hand can't hit what his eyes can't see. Now you see me, now you don't. George thinks he will, but I know he won't. I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale. Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I'm so mean, I make medicine sick."

McKinney said the significance of the sudden bee swarm was not lost.

They showed up sometime yesterday. Beekeeper insists this has never happened. #RIPMuhammadAli #Ali #StingLikeABee

"The irony is not lost on me at all," he said.

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