Muhammad Ali earned his nickname “The Greatest” for more than his prowess in the ring.

While promoting his new one-man show at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York on The Jenny McCarthy Show, actor and former boxer Tony Danza remembered a humbling encounter with Ali, who died in June after battling Parkinson’s for three decades.

“I was on 49th street one day, I watched him sign autographs for an hour, shaking, being shepherded around by his guy Howard Bingham,” Danza recalled Monday. “And afterwards I was mad because of the way people were treating him and stuff. And I went up to him afterward, I said, ‘Champ, why [did] you put yourself through that?’ And he could hardly make words but he leaned in and he said to me, ‘I’m just trying to get into heaven.'”

“That’s the kind of guy he was,” the star added.

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Listen to the clip below to learn how Danza became rapper Tupac’s prison pen pal. The Jenny McCarthy Show airs weekdays from 10 am to 12 pm ET on SiriusXM Stars (Ch. 109).

For a free 30-day trial, check out http://www.siriusxm.com/freetrial/blog

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