To celebrate the champion’s 25th birthday, Astrodome officials gave him a £578 cake.
Houston — Big Mouth? he had it But big enough to eat heavyweight champion-sized prizes?
Date: January 17, 1967. Muhammad Ali’s birthday. Training in Houston for the title fight. To celebrate the champion turning 25, Astrodome officials presented him with a giant cake.
“I’ve never seen anything this big in my life,” Ali told reporters at the scene.
It is 4 feet wide, 2 feet tall and weighs 578 ½ pounds. Made with 1,500 eggs and 150 pounds each of flour, sugar and butter. It’s also topped with 120 pounds of buttercream icing.
Wait, haven’t we talked about cakes like this before?
Yes, one year later, in 1968, Willie Mays’ birthday. He weighed a little less than Ali: 569 pounds, one pound for each home run Willie hit in the majors.
One creative baker: Roland Lanz (now 88) is the founder of Roland’s Swiss Pastry & Bakery in Houston, famous for the home of Hansel and Gretel.
Roland recalls that it took “two days” to make Ali’s cake and the bill was $400 (currently about $3,400). “Muhammad, he was very kind to me,” Rowland recalled earlier this year in an interview he did with KHOU 11 News.
Featured in just about every newspaper in the country, the cake ignites the ‘hum’ of ants who jokingly suspect that nemesis Ernie Terrell is hiding inside.
Ali also provided a major production for Roland’s daughter, Sylvia, who was only five years old at the time.
“I’m a little shy and I’m pretty sure I just turned around and refused the cake. My father was probably terrified.
The ant trainer is sick of the marbling on his cake. He insists that ants not eat the part – for training reasons, of course.
Muhammad Ali’s extra large champ size cake. Weird but true Houston sports stories.