Project Description

Recognized as one of the nation’s elite charity events, Celebrity Fight Night is a star-studded evening presented in honor of our featured guest, Muhammad Ali. Celebrities and professional athletes from all over the world participate in a night filled with incredible Live Auction items and live musical performances by many of today’s brightest stars.

Each year, this power-packed night of excitement not only leaves our audience with unforgettable memories, but more importantly, generates millions of dollars to help people in need.

Jimmy founded Celebrity Fight Night in 1994 with a desire to raise money for its local charities. Throughout its history the event has become one of the largest grossing charity events in the country and has raised in excess of $138 million for charity with the primary beneficiary the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Shelter, and many other worthy charities. Countless lives have been changed thanks to the tremendous generosity of our supporters.

Celebrity Fight Night is proud and honored to have Muhammad Ali as its featured guest for the past 18 years; and we look forward to the years to come with excitement, enthusiasm and a continued commitment to Winning the Fight for Charities.

For the past 19 years, David Foster, 16 time Grammy Winner, has been Musical Director for this event, and Reba McEntire has been the Emcee for 12 consecutive years.

“I’ve done hundreds of these events, Celebrity Fight Night is an A+”

David Foster, 16 time Grammy Winner

“Celebrity Fight Night is the best of the best!”

Tom Hanks

“Celebrity Fight Night has raised the bar so high on the level of talent that performs.”

Kevin Costner

“I’ve been here for almost all of them, and every year is the greatest event ever! It’s the most amazing combination of entertainers and sport’s figures.”

Billy Crystal

“There are lots of good wonderful, big hearted people here tonight that I just love with all my heart. I like to meet new people and the cream of the crop is here.”

Reba McIntire

“It’s the best auction in America”

Larry King

Event History

Over 20 years ago Celebrity Fight Night came to life through the vision of Jimmy Walker, who thought it would be possible to raise money for local charities through a celebrity charity event. The first event operated on a much smaller scale than today. With the help of Phoenix Suns Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle, and boxing champion Michael Carbajal, who humorously fought in the ring with oversized boxing gloves, the first Celebrity Fight Night was a smash hit. The following year Kenny Rogers joined the event by performing a magical 40-minute concert that changed the dynamic of Celebrity Fight Night from a sports event to a celebrity-filled charity event with live musical entertainment by major marquee entertainers.

In its third year, Celebrity Fight Night took a big leap into the national spotlight when the most recognized man in the world, Muhammad Ali accepted an invitation to become the featured guest. The world learned about the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.

After eighteen years of support, Celebrity Fight Night has become synonymous with the Champ’s name. At the 6th annual event, Celebrity Fight Night was fortunate to have 16-time Grammy winner, David Foster join the team as Musical Director. Then at Celebrity Fight Night XI, we were treated to the warmth and hospitality that only Reba McEntire can provide as our evening host; and she has been our emcee every year since!

Some of the celebrities who have participated in Celebrity Fight Night include Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Blake Shelton, Ronnie Dunn, Kelly Clarkson, Glenn Fry, Whitney Houston, Barry Manilow, Carrie Underwood, Rod Stewart, Kenny Rogers, Clive Davis, Billy Crystal, Kevin Costner, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Robert DeNiro, Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, Robin Williams, Sinbad, Dennis Quaid, Michael J. Fox, Bon Jovi, The Band Perry, Brian McKnight, Michael Bolton, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Donna Summer, Jordin Sparks, Faith Hill, Sam Moore, The Village People, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Nash, Russell Wilson, Kurt Warner, Joe Montana, John Elway, Troy Aikman, Larry Fitzgerald, Donald Trump, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and many more.

Celebrity Fight Night has been covered in national publications including People Magazine, Sports Illustrated and USA Today, and on national television shows such as “Entertainment Tonight”, “Access Hollywood”, “Extra”, “E!”, and the “Hollywood Insider”.

Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Award

The Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Awards were established at Celebrity Fight Night IV as a way to acknowledge leaders in the sports, entertainment and business communities who best represent the qualities associated with the Champ and his fight to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Previous award recipients have included:

  • Kevin Costner
  • Robert DeNiro
  • Josh Groban
  • Halle Berry
  • Jim Carrey
  • Larry King
  • Michael J. Fox
  • Chevy Chase
  • Sharon Stone
  • Magic Johnson
  • Clive Davis
  • Russell Wilson
  • Wayne Gretzky
  • Steve Nash
  • Jack Nicklaus
  • Joe Montana
  • John Elway
  • Walter Scott
  • Bob Parsons
  • Howard Schultz
  • Randy Johnson
  • Bill Austin
  • Kurt Warner
  • Larry Fitzgerald
  • Dr. Francis Yeoh
  • Forest Whitaker
  • Jerry Weintraub
  • Donald Trump
  • Michael Phelps
  • Curt Schilling
  • Luis Gonzalez
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Evander Holyfield
  • Emmitt Smith
  • Tony Hawk
  • Jerry Colangelo
  • Foster Friess
  • Chris Evert
  • Michael Johnson
  • Cristie Kerr
  • Harvey Mackay
  • Diane and Bruce Halle
  • George, Julia & Stephanie Argyros
  • Stewart Rahr
  • LaDainian Tomlinson
  • Red McCombs
  • Dr. Robert Spetzler
  • Harrison Ford

Winning the Fight for Charities!

Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center

The Lonnie and Muhammad Ali Pavilion, housing the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, opened in December 2009 at Barrow Neurological Institute. The Center’s mission is to provide excellence in treatment, research and education for patients and families affected by Parkinson’s disease. The “Ali Care” program provides medicine and treatment for patients regardless of their ability to pay. The Parkinson Center has been named a Center of Excellence by the National Parkinson’s Foundation, a designation that is held at only 27 other hospitals in the United States.

Celebrity Fight Night Auction

Each year we strive to provide exciting and exclusive auction packages that appeal to even the most discerning bidder! We are fortunate to raise millions of dollars for our charities thanks to the generous bidding of our guests.

Live Auction Items have included dinners with Kevin Costner, Billy Crystal, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Andrea Bocelli, Lionel Richie, Michael Buble, Reba McEntire, Joe Torre, Robin Williams, LeBron James, golf in Hawaii with Kurt Warner & Larry Fitzgerald, and many more, as well as amazing trips including a five day event with Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.

Celebrity Fight Night Founders Club

Each year on the night prior to Celebrity Fight Night we present a private Founders Club dinner. This is really the Champ’s small dinner party where 16-time Grammy-winner David Foster directs live entertainment for our group. Founders Club members receive photographs taken with our celebrity guests; and are acknowledged at the main event from the stage and on the big screens, along with a photograph in the event program.