Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dies at 74
American boxing icon Muhammad Ali, widely regarded as one of the greatest and most significant sporting figures in history passed away after 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease in Phoenix, Arizona. He was 74.
Ali remains the only three-time lineal world heavyweight champion, he won the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978. Fans on every continent adored him, and at one point he was the probably the most-recognizable man on the planet. He was also known globally for his civil rights activism.
Muhammad Ali nicknamed "The Greatest", was involved in several historic boxing matches. He defeated Sonny Liston in 1964 to win his first world title and became the first boxer to capture a world heavyweight title on three separate occasions.
Some of his notable matches were the first Liston fight, three with rival Joe Frazier, and one with George Foreman, in which he regained titles that were stripped in 1967.
61 fights over a professional career lasting 21 years
56 wins including 37 knockouts
3 times crowned World Heavyweight Champion
1 Light-heavyweight Olympic gold medal
31 straight wins before being beaten by Joe Frazier
Facts to know about Muhammad Ali :
Born as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky, US. He had a sister and four brothers. His father painted billboards and signs, and his mother, Odessa O'Grady Clay, was a household domestic. He grew up in racial segregation.
He started his boxing training when he was 12 years old and at the age of 22 he won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston.
Shortly after that, he converted to Islam, changed his "slave" name to Ali, and gave a message of racial pride for African Americans and resistance to white domination during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.
In 1966, two years after winning the heavyweight title, Ali further antagonized the white establishment by refusing to serve in the Vietnam war. He was eventually arrested, found guilty of draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing titles.
He successfully appealed in the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971. By that time, he had not fought for nearly four years—losing a period of peak performance as an athlete. Ali's actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation.
Honours: Sports Illustrated had crowned him as “Sportsman of the Century” and BBC had named him as “Sports Personality of the Century”.
Books authored : He had written several best-selling books about his career including The Greatest: My Own Story and The Soul of a Butterfly