Muhammad Ali dies at the age of 74
Published June 4th, 2016
PHOENIX, Az. -- OBIT-MUHAMMAD ALI. Muhammad Ali, who riveted the world as 'The Greatest,' dies.
UNDATED (AP) - Fight promoter Don King says Muhammad Ali "stood for the world." Ali died yesterday after being hospitalized in the Phoenix area with respiratory problems earlier this week.
After his iconic boxing career, Ali was devastated by Parkinson's disease but said in 1984, "What I suffered physically was worth what I've accomplished in life. A man who is not courageous enough to take risks will never accomplish anything."
A funeral will be held Wednesday in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Flags have been ordered to half-staff. The city plans a memorial service today.
With a wit as sharp as the punches he used to "whup" opponents, Ali dominated sports for two decades before time and Parkinson's Syndrome, triggered by thousands of blows to the head, ravaged his magnificent body, muted his majestic voice and ended his storied career in 1981.
He won and defended the heavyweight championship in epic fights in exotic locations, spoke loudly on behalf of blacks, and famously refused to be drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War because of his Muslim beliefs.
Despite his debilitating illness, Ali traveled the world to rapturous receptions even after his once-bellowing voice was quieted and he was left to communicate with a wink or a weak smile.
He fought in three different decades, finished with a record of 56-5 with 37 knockouts and was the first man to win heavyweight titles three times.
Tributes have come in form athletes and world leaders alike.
Ali's death rekindles memories of 'Thrilla,' 'Rumble'
UNDATED (AP) - The boxing-crazy nation of Philippines is grieving the passing of Muhammad Ali, though with fond memories of the 1975 epic "Thrilla in Manila" fight between Ali and Joe Frazier.
Sports commentator Ronnie Nathanielsz, who was assigned by then-dictator Ferdinand Marcos to act as government liaison to Ali for the bout, said Saturday, "We lost a hero, a peacemaker and a truly charismatic human being."
And a spokesman for Congo's government says Ali's famous "Rumble in the Jungle" fight there "helped make our country visible in the 1970s."
Ali in October 1974 won over the country's citizens before upsetting George Foreman in the capital, Kinshasa, to become heavyweight champion once again at age 32.
The spokesman says Ali "built a bridge between African-Americans and Africans."
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6/4/2016 9:10:20 AM (GMT -4:00)
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