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Tributes pour in for boxing legend Muhammad Ali

Photo Credit: Samiah Nkrumah

By Edris Redi

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia June 4, 2016 (IMC):- Tributes have poured in for the Sportsman of the Century, Muhammad Ali, who has died last night at the age of 74.

The heavyweight champion boxer who riveted the world with his sporting feats, quick-witted commentary and civil rights activism is receiving tributes from athletes, civil rights activists, artists and celebrities.

Ali, who died aged 74 late on Friday, had endured a long fight with Parkinson's disease. Fellow athletes were quick to offer their condolences, according to Aljazeera.

"A part of me slipped away," George Foreman said on Twitter, calling the legendary fellow boxer by his "the Greatest" nickname.

"God came for his champion. So long great one," boxer Mike Tyson said on Twitter.

"RIP to The Greatest Muhammad Ali, you have given something to boxing that will never be forgotten," tweeted Floyd Mayweather.

British boxer Amir Khan, meanwhile, offered "prayers and thoughts".

Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino former world champion professional boxer, said in a statement: "We lost a giant today. Boxing benefited from Muhammad Ali's talents but not nearly as much as mankind benefitted from his humanity."

Artists and activists also paid tribute to the late boxer.

Michael Moore, the documentary filmmaker, said: "Muhammad Ali, pacifist, Muslim. Convicted as a felon simply because he refused to go to Vietnam." He quoted Ali's famous line: "No Vietnamese ever called me a n*****."

How Ali wanted people to remember him

"I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him...who stood up for his beliefs...who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love.

"And if all that's too much, then I guess I'd settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn't even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was."

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Macellus Clay Jr on January 17, 1942, in Louisville Kentucky

  • Aged 22, he took on heavyweight champion Sonny Liston in Miami. He won and proclaimed to the world: "I am the world's greatest!"

  • Ali was the first man to win heavyweight titles three times

  • Ali attended his first Nation of Islam meeting in 1959 and converted to Sunni Islam in 1975

  • In 1967, he famously refused to fight in Vietnam, citing religious reasons

  • In 1999 he was crowned Sportsman of the Century

  • Married four times, he had seven daughters and two sons

  • He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1984, at the age of 43

  • Ali died late on June 3, 2016, in a hospital in Arizona after being admitted with respiritory problems

  • Ali's funeral will take place in Louisville

  • Ali is survived by his wife, the former Lonnie Williams, who knew him when she was a child, along with his nine children

 

To contact the writer of this news: edris.redi@ifriqiyahmedia.com, to contact the editor of IMC: omer.redi@ifriqiyahmedia.com