The former world heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali has died at the age of 74 late on Friday. Muhammad Ali had reportedly been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for several years and was admitted to the hospital on the reason of respiratory problems earlier this week before he passed away on Friday night.
Muhammad Ali, whose fame sport during a remarkable heavyweight boxing career that spanned three decades, had been hospitalised in Phoenix, Arizona, area with a respiratory ailment this week. Ali had been hospitalised several times in recent years, most recently in early 2015 when he was treated for a severe urinary tract infection initially diagnosed as pneumonia.
Muhammad Ali was a beautiful boxer. It is a brutal sport, by definition, but one that demands technical quality and artistic creativity. Ali possessed all the necessary skills, along with an unprecedented combination of size, speed, and grace. When he was exiled, he was at the height of his powers, with a 29-0 record. Like other black athletes of his era Jim Brown in football, Bill Russell in basketball, Curt Flood in baseball he altered his sport’s expectations of what was possible.
Muhammad Ali turned professional immediately after the Rome Olympics and rose through the heavyweight ranks, delighting crowds with his showboating. British champion Henry Cooper came close to stopping Clay, as he was still known, when they met in a non-title bout in London in 1963. Cooper floored the American with a left hook, but Clay picked himself up off the canvas and won the fight in the next round when a severe cut around Cooper’s left eye forced to retire.
Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on January 17, 1942, as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr, He changed his name after his conversion to Islam. Ali was survived by his wife, the former Lonnie Williams, who knew him when she was a child in Louisville, along with his nine children.
Muhammad Ali finished with a record of 56-5 with 37 knockouts and was the first man to win heavyweight titles three times.
Image Source: telegraph.co.uk