Local referee remembers Muhammad Ali: "We had a great relationship."

VIDEO: Local referee remembers Muhammad Ali: "We had a great relationship."

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - In West Ashley you'll find one of Muhammad Ali's close friends who also refereed Ali's match in Charleston.

In the 1970s, Muhammad Ali faced off Scottie Mack in Charleston. West Ashley resident Danny Berlinsky was the referee who became friends with Ali. He says they had a great relationship.

Berlinsky, now 89 years old remembers the match like it was yesterday. He says nobody could beat Ali.

"I stopped the fight in the second round, that's right," Berlinsky said. "Ali was about to kill him he already started to kill him."

Berlinsky was the boxing commissioner for South Carolina for more than 40 years and a U.S. Navy Boxer. As a referee he says he always made sure to stop a fight before it got too rough.

He is also a Jewish War Veteran who has refereed several world champion boxers.

"Joe Frazier used to ask Ali 'why do you brag so much?" Berlinsky said. "Mohammad Ali tells Joe Frazier 'shut up, I tell you why I brag so much because when you brag enough you've got live up to it.'"

Berlinsky says when people would see him hanging out with Frazier and Ali around the world, the news media would say 'Together Again.' That saying is printed in newspapers.

They all shared a bond and Ali and Berlinsky confided in one another.

"He gave a lot to charity and he never talked about it, he never told anybody, but he would tell me," Berlinsky said.

Ali became a family friend and Berlinsky is holding on to his memories including a special photo they have together. It was mailed to him and signed by Frazier and Ali.

"It's worth a million dollars... for the future of this world," he said.

It's Ali's kindness that stood out the most.

"I mean this with all my heart, if you were poor and hungry Ali would take care of it, he would give you money, he was just a nice person," Berlinsky said.

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