Nashville prizefighter Kid Coffee attended the Muhammad Ali celebration.

I am so glad to learn that Jerome “Kid” Coffee, the great Nashville boxer, attended the Louisville celebration of the life of Muhammad Ali.

Kid Coffee is a Nashville native; he became a grand amateur boxing champion. He won national titles throughout the 1970s — AAU championship, national Police Athletic League championships, National Golden Gloves championships, Pan American games bronze medal. Kid Coffee entered the professional ranks in 1980, and won his first 26 bouts. In 1985, he traveled to Sydney, Australia to fight Jeff Fenech; he lasted the full 15 rounds before the judges awarded the fight to Fenech.

I knew Kid Coffee when I worked in the office of Mary Parker in downtown Nashville. One of Mary’s law partners, the late Stan Allen, was Kid’s manager. Some afternoons when I came to work, Kid would be hanging out in Stan’s office — resting up from the gym and waiting to catch a ride to supper at Stan’s house, where Betty Sue looked after Stan’s boxers like they were her own! I was too much in awe of Kid and Stan to initiate conversation — but it was like a family over there. The office was on 3rd Avenue North, and the back windows looked out over Printer’s Alley.

Kid Coffee was an inspiration to many — including me. And I am happy to know that he was with friends in Louisville yesterday to celebrate the life of their inspiration — Muhammad Ali.