Muhammad Ali dead at 74: tributes to the greatest of all time


    1Muhammad Ali dead at 74: tributes to the greatest of all time

    Muhammad Ali victorious after first round knockout of Sonny Liston at St. Dominic's Arena
    Muhammad Ali victorious after first round knockout of Sonny Liston at St. Dominic’s Arena CREDIT: NEIL LEIFER /SPORTS ILLUSTRATED/GETTY IMAGES/NEIL LEIFER /SPORTS ILLUSTRATED/GETTY IMAGES

    The death of Muhammad Ali, the former heavyweight champion known as much for his political activism as his boxing brilliance, triggered a worldwide outpouring of affection and admiration for one of the best-known figures of the 20th century.

    Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome which impaired his speech and made the once-graceful athlete almost a prisoner in his own body, died on Friday at the age of 74.

    The cause of death was septic shock due to unspecified natural causes, a family spokesman said. Ali was admitted to a Phoenix-area hospital with a respiratory ailment on Monday.

    “He’ll be remembered as a man of the world who spoke his mind and wasn’t afraid to take a chance and went out of his way to be a kind, benevolent individual that really changed the world,” the family spokesman, Bob Gunnell, said at a news conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    Ali spokesman: boxer died of ‘septic shock’Play!01:21

    Despite Ali’s failing health, his youthful proclamation that he was “the greatest” rang true until the end for millions of people around the world who respected him for his courage both inside and outside the ring.

    Along with a fearsome reputation as a fighter, Ali spoke out against racism, war and religious intolerance, while projecting an unshakeable confidence that became a model for African-Americans at the height of the civil rights era and beyond.

    His family have announced plans for a public funeral – featuring Bill Clinton and Billy Crystal – in his home town of Louisville, Kentucky.

    Read below for all the latest tributes and developments.

    Watch: Muhammad Ali’s five best knockoutsPlay!01:01



    Locals mourn a ‘champion of Islam’

    The Muslim community near Ali’s home has dedicated prayers to a man they said became a “voice for Muslims”.

    Usama Shami, president of the Islamic Community Centre of Phoenix said:

    He was a voice for Muslims that was more accepted by many Americans than the voices of other Muslims.

    We have lost someone who is a champion of Islam, who is respected and who spoke against violence.

    For the last years of his life, he was helping to promote the idea of Islam.

    “He spoke about Isil to distinguish between Islam and Isis and say those people do not represent Islam.


    Bernie Sanders aims jab at Donald Trump

    Bernie Sanders

    Bernie Sanders, who is challenging Hillary Clinton for the US Democratic presidential nomination, used Muhammad Ali’s death to score some political points, praising the boxer’s anti-war stance and aiming a jab squarely at Donald Trump.

    At a news conference in Los Angeles he said…

    The reason Ali struck a chord in the hearts of so many Americans was not just his great boxing skill; it was his incredible courage. At a time when it was not popular to do so, Ali stood up and said, ‘I am opposed to the war in Vietnam, and I am not going to fight in that war.’

    Could he possibly be comparing his own anti-war views with the courage of Ali? He then suggested there was a degree of hypocrisy afoot among people praising the boxer…

    Don’t tell us how much you love Muhammad Ali and yet you’re going to be prejudiced against Muslims in this country.