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Spotlight On Celebrity Fight Night XVIII in Phoenix, Arizona

Larry Fitzgerald, William Austin and Diane & Bruce Halle Were Honored at Celebrity Fight Night XVIII
Photos by Glenda S. Paradee

Celebrity Fight Night was held on March 24, 2012 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.  The event pulled in more than $9.1 million to target disease.

This years gala set a record with 1,300 people in attendance.  It was a black-tie affair featuring stars from many walks of life - athletes, actors and comedians.

Celebrity Fight Night is one of the nation's most significant charity events.  This year Larry Fitzgerald, William Austin and Diane and Bruce Halle were honored. 

Muhammad Ali honored Arizona Cardinals' NFL Pro Bowl Wide Receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, Starkey Labs CEO and Founder William Austin and philanthropists and Founders of Discount Tire, Diane & Bruce Halle with the 2012 Celebrity Fight Night Awards.

"Larry Fitzgerald, William Austin and the Halle's have achieved extraordinary accomplishments and have been instrumental in giving back to charity," said Jimmy Walker, founder and chairman of Celebrity Fight Night and a close friend of Ali. "We're looking forward to recognizing their success and dedication at Celebrity Fight Night."

Celebrity Fight Night XVIII was hosted by Grammy Award-winning leading lady of country music Reba McEntire, who returned for her seventh consecutive year as emcee. The black-tie event also celebrated Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday. The evening began with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner, an exciting live auction and entertainment. Multi-platinum recording trio Rascal Flatts performed along with actor and singer John Corbett. Additional performers was Miley Cyrus, Rita Wilson, Lionel Richie, Sinbad and Jackie Evancho, under the direction of David Foster who is returned for his 13th consecutive year as the evening's Musical Director.

The top four live-auction packages was dinner with Andrea Bocelli that went for 1.4 million, dinners with Reba McEntire and Tom Hanks for $600,000 each, golf with Phil Mickelson for $400,000 and dinner with Billy Crystal and Robin Williams for $400,000.

Additional guests included Laila Ali, Muhammad Ali, Lance Alworth, Ken Blanchard, Billy Blanks, Curtis Conway, Billy Crystal, Bo Derek, Jason Derulo, John Hadl, Tom Hanks, Tony Hawk, Liam Hemsworth, Evander Holyfield, Reggie Jackson, Michael Johns, Kris Kristofferson, Nancy Lieberman, Harvey Mackay, Kyle Massey, Chris Massey, Sam Moore, Lou Nanne, Lute Olson, Melissa Peterman, Chris Rich, Gale Sayers, Kevin Sorbo, Jordin Sparks, Verne Troyer, Ben Vereen, Kurt Warner, Beanie Wells, Ken Whisenhunt, Rita Wilson, Dave Winfield and many more.

Celebrity Fight Night premiered in the Valley in 1994 when local celebrities donned oversized boxing gloves for a comedic fight in the ring before 400 attendees. Today, more than 1,200 guests attend the annual event to accompany Muhammad Ali and other A-List celebrities. Celebrity Fight Night no longer features celebrity boxing, but by attending the event and bidding on live and silent auction items, each guest does their part to join Ali in the fight against Parkinson's disease.

Over the past 17 years, Celebrity Fight Night has raised more than $70 million for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and other charities. Celebrities and professional athletes from around the U.S. join Muhammad Ali each year for this celebrity-filled night complete with live auction items and musical performances by many of today's brightest stars. Previous guests include Halle Berry, Billy Crystal, Kevin Costner, Matchbox Twenty, Kelly Clarkson, Jon Bon Jovi, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Donald Trump, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Randy Jackson, Sharon Stone, Rod Stewart, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Diana Ross, John Mellencamp, Chris Tucker, Forest Whitaker, Larry King, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Nicklaus, American Idol's 2011 Top 11 Finalists and many more.

About Celebrity Fight Night

Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker to support the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as numerous other charities. Sponsors of this year's event include CA Technologies, USA Today, Moet and AirSprint. For more information, visit

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