Muhammad Ali dies aged 74

June 4, 2016 8:41 AM

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Muhammad Ali dies aged 74

Boxing legend and one of the world's best known sportsmen Muhammad Ali has died

A family spokesman announced the death of boxing legend Muhammad Ali aged 74.

The former world heavyweight boxing champion was suffering from a respiratory illness, a condition that was complicated by Parkinson's disease.

One of the world's best-known sportsmen died at a hospital in the US city of Phoenix, Arizona, after being admitted on Thursday.

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

A statement from the spokesman said the Ali family "would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and support" and asked for privacy.

Tributes began pouring in for the sporting icon, with stars of the boxing world leading the many condolences.

Former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield told MSNBC: "I'm glad to have known Ali because when I was a kid, at eight years old, I was told I would be like Ali.

"To take it upon yourself and say; 'I'm the greatest', you put yourself in a position for people to take pot shots at you. This is what Ali did. It's amazing him becoming three-time heavyweight champion of the world. At that time people thought, 'Who could beat three?

"You have to be stronger to get up from a loss to go on and that's what Ali proved to be."

George Foreman, Ali's friend and rival from the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" fight, told the BBC : "We were like one guy - part of me is gone."

"Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest human beings I have ever met. No doubt he was one of the best people to have lived in this day and age.


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