Sport

Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali Dead at 74

Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome, was hospitalised for a respiratory ailment on June 2.

US boxing great Muhammad Ali poses during the Crystal Award ceremony at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland January 28, 2006. Credit: Reuters/Andreas Meier/Files

US boxing great Muhammad Ali poses during the Crystal Award ceremony at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland January 28, 2006. Credit: Reuters/Andreas Meier/Files

Reuters: Former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, whose record-setting boxing career, unprecedented flair for showmanship and controversial stands made him one of the best-known figures of the 20th century, died on June 3 aged 74, media reports said.

The former boxer died in a Phoenix-area hospital where he spent the past two days, family spokesman Bob Gunnell told NBC News.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the reports.

Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome, was hospitalised for a respiratory ailment on June 2.

Few could argue with him at his peak in the 1960s. With his dancing feet and quick fists, he could – as he put it – float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. He was the first person to win the heavyweight championship three times.

Ali became much more than a colorful and interesting athlete. He spoke boldly against racism in the 1960s, as well as the Vietnam War.

Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on January 17, 1942, as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., a name shared with a 19th century slavery abolitionist. He later changed his name after his conversion to Islam.

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