Tthe former world heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali who is one of sport’s most influential individuals, has died aged 74.
Known by his nickname ‘The Greatest’, Ali had suffered from Parkinson’s Disease since 1984. He died on Friday at Phoenix-area hospital, where he had spent the past few days being treated for respiratory complications, a family spokesman confirmed.
“After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening,” Bob Gunnell, a family spokesman told the media.
As a young heavyweight champion he converted to Islam and refusing to serve in the Vietnam War. He became the voice of strength, eloquence, conscience and courage. Ali was a rebel and stood tall with his outspoken quotations on race and religion.
Born as Cassius Clay on Jan. 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky, in a middle-class family, Ali started boxing when he was 12. He won Golden Gloves titles before heading to the 1960 Olympics in Rome, where he grabbed a gold medal as a light heavyweight.
Off late, Ali’s health began to deteriorate. There was a death scare in 2013, and last year he was rushed to the hospital after being found unresponsive. However, he recovered and returned to his new home in Arizona. In his final years, Ali was barely able to speak. His wife read his essay:
“I never thought of the possibility of failing, only of the fame and glory I was going to get when I won,” Ali wrote. “I could see it. I could almost feel it. When I proclaimed that I was the greatest of all time, I believed in myself, and I still do.”
Source : NBC news