Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali dies at 74

    Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali dies at 74

    June 6, Phoenix: Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has died at a hospital where he was admitted on Thursday after he complained respiratory problems.

    According to a family spokesman, the former world heavyweight boxing champion,was suffering from a respiratory illness, a condition that was complicated by Parkinson's disease.

    The funeral will take place in Ali's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, his family said in a statement. 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.

    Nicknamed The Greatest, Ali retired from boxing in 1981 with a record 56 wins and only five losses.Ali was known globally not only for his ring career but also for his civil rights activism. Ali had turned professional immediately after the Rome Olympics and rose through the heavyweight ranks, delighting crowds with his showboating, shuffling feet and lightning reflexes.

    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 the Englishman to retire.

    Won Olympic light-heavyweight gold in 1960, and was world heavyweight champion from 1964 to 1967, 1974 to 1978 and 1978 to 1979
    Had 61 professional bouts, winning 56 (37 knockouts, 19 decisions), and losing five (4 decisions, 1 retirement).In February the following year, Clay stunned the boxing world by winning his first world heavyweight title at the age of 22.He predicted he would beat Liston, who had never lost, but few believed he could do it.

    His Parkinson's, which is thought to be linked to the punches he took during his career that spanned three decades, had limited his public speaking for years. However, Ali had continued to make appearances and offer opinions through his family members and spokespersons. In April, he attended a Celebrity Fight Night Dinner in Phoenix that raised funds for treatment of Parkinson's. In December, he issued a statement rebuking US presidential hopeful Donald Trump's call for a ban on Muslims entering the US.

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

    The Oslo Times


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