Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dies at 74
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has died at the age of 74, a family spokesman confirmed.
The three-time heavyweight boxing champion had been at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, since Thursday with a serious respiratory issue.
Ali had also been struggling with advanced Parkinson's disease since 1984. The Olympic gold medalist’s breathing condition was also attributed to his Parkinson's disease.
“After a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening,” family spokesman Bob Gunnell said in a statement late on Friday.
“The Ali family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and support and asks for privacy at this time.”
The funeral will take place in Ali's home town of Louisville, Kentucky.
Gunnell had said earlier in the day that Ali was in fair condition at an undisclosed hospital in Phoenix.
Ali was born in Louisville as Cassius Clay in January 1942. He began boxing when he was 12 years old and became heavyweight champion in 1964, the year he joined the “Nation of Islam” and changed his name.
He proceeded to win the heavyweight title twice more before retiring from boxing in 1981.
Generally referred to as one of the greatest boxing heavyweights of all time, Ali was known for his highly unusual fighting style which involved dazzling speed, lightning-fast reflexes and constant movement around his opponents.
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