4 June 2016
The world has once again in the year 2016 been thrown into another wave of mourning. This time it is the death of boxing legend, Muhammad Ali. He died at the age of 74 on Friday night as announced by a family spokesman.
Muhammad Ali died at a hospital in the US city of Phoenix, Arizona, after being admitted on Thursday. He had a respiratory illness that was complicated by Parkinson’s disease, a disease he battled with for 32 years.
According to a statement released by the Ali family, his funeral will take place in Ali’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
Muhammad Ali was crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC.
In his lifetime, he wrote several best-selling books about his career, including The Greatest: My Own Story and The Soul of a Butterfly.
Born Cassius Marcellus Clay on January 14 1942, Muhammad Ali began training as a boxer at the age of 12. However, he didn’t rise to fame until 1960 when he won the light-heavyweight gold at Rome Olympics.
Ali won 56 of his 61 fights and retired in 1981.
World Champion Boxer across five divisions, Floyd Mayweather paid tribute to Muhammad Ali, saying: “There will never be another Muhammad Ali. The black community all around the world, black people all around the world, needed him. He was the voice for us. He’s the voice for me to be where I’m at today.”
Ali wanted the world to remember him has the man who won the heavyweight title three times and as a man who treated everyone right.
He ones said: “I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him…who stood up for his beliefs…who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”
Tributes have been pouring in from all over the world on social media:
This year, we've lost many. Too many.
— Tunde Leye (@tundeleye) June 4, 2016
Goodnight, Muhammad Ali. We do not ask the ancestors to sleep. You were my idol, my orisa. Now you are my ancestor. Rest in power forever.
— Molara Wood (@molarawood) June 4, 2016
When Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, he said Muhammad Ali made him feel the walls weren't there. pic.twitter.com/pm8doBt2BA
— AFRICAN HISTORY (@africanarchives) June 4, 2016
— nalu ʻaiō (@alohasusvn) June 4, 2016
— ZODMLDiscoverNigeria (@Discover_NG) June 4, 2016
One astonishing thing about Mohammed Ali is how he has been consistently reminding people that Allah is the greatest.
— Mr. M (@WordsworthGwary) June 4, 2016
He made a great impression on young people across the world irrespective of tribe and religion. He would be missed.