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