Muhammad Ali was fast with his fists and his feet, but often times his fast lips put smiles on the faces of boxing fans. He promised as a young boxer to shock the world and succeeded.
Ali was simply the Greatest. On Friday, Ali died according to an official statement from the Ali family. Ali was 74.
Floyd Mayweather said of hearing of the death of Ali, that the world had lost a great man, legend and hero.
This week Ali was hospitalized in Phoenix with problems in his respiratory system. His children flew in from across the country to be with him.
Rasheda Ali, one of his daughters, was on Twitter Saturday morning mourning her dad.
Ali retired from boxing in 1981, and has battled Parkinson’s disease for at least two decades. On other occasions, he has had to be hospitalized in the past few years, including the early part of last year due to a urinary tract infection that initially had been diagnosed as being pneumonia.
Ali was starting to look much frailer during his most recent public appearances with the last official on April 9, when he was hunched over and wearing sunglasses in Phoenix at an annual even for raising money for Parkinson’s.
Prior to his death, Ali was living a quiet, peaceful life in Phoenix with Lonnie his fourth wife with whom he had been married since 1986.
Ali’s funeral is to be held in Louisville his hometown, with more details being released sometime on Sunday morning.
Ali was one of the most recognized people in the world for actions both inside and outside the boxing ring.
The stance he took on the military draft and as well as converting to Islam were polarizing in the U.S., for the most part along racial lines.
However, later he helped to unify people through messages he made for peace, equality and freedom.
Ali’s boxing career spanned three decades. He ended with a career record of 56-5 including 37 knockouts. He was the first boxer to win the heavyweight title on three occasions.
Boxing promoter Don King said it was a sad day after hearing about the passing of Ali. He added that he loved Ali, he was his friend and Ali’s spirit will always live on, like that of Martin Luther King.
Ali was often exhorted on by his cornermen screaming that he floats like a butterfly, but stings like a bee.
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