This entry is being revised. The Tunney Hunsaker Bridge is named after a professional boxer from Fayette County, West Virginia. Tunney Hunsaker is famous for being the first person to fight Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay, professionally. This bridge was the first bridge built across the New River. It was built in 1889. The bridge was named after Hunsaker after the rehabilitation of the bridge.


Although this bridge doesn't directly correlate to Muhammad Ali, it shares a part of its allure.  Ali, or Cassius Clay at the time of the fight with Hunsaker, was an important figure to the sports world and to the Civil Rights movement.  Muhammad Ali helped lead the way for African American rights during a rough decade for African Americans.  So to have his professional start have some connectivity with West Virginia, especially a small part of the state like Fayette County, is uplifting for a small town.

Tunney Hunsaker served as the Fayetteville Chief of Police for 38 years.  Hunsaker was 30 years old when he fought the 18 year old Olympian.  Ali defeated him six rounds by decision.  Hunsaker became Ali's opening in the professional world of boxing.  

The two athletes would go on two completely different paths.  One would go on to be a World Heavyweight Champion and the other would continue to be a small town police officer and soon after hang up the gloves.  

http://officialbridgeday.com/in-the-shadow-of-the-new-river-gorge-bridge-the-tunney-hunsaker-bridge/

http://www.syracuse.com/poliquin/index.ssf/2013/10/muhammad_alis_first_pro_oppone.html 

http://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/13999218/muhammad-ali-vs-tunney-hunsaker-first-fight-greatest