Muhammad Ali, ‘The Greatest’, dies at the age of 74https://indianexpress.com/photos/sports-gallery/muhammad-ali-dies-at-74-boxing-muhammad-ali-knockout-2833850/

Muhammad Ali, ‘The Greatest’, dies at the age of 74

Muhammad Ali's quiet later life was in contrast to the roar of a career that had breathtaking highs as well as terrible lows

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Muhammad Ali, the magnificent heavyweight champion whose fast fists and irrepressible personality transcended sports and captivated the world, has died. He was 74.

US boxing great Muhammad Ali poses during the Crystal Award ceremony at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland January 28, 2006. (Source: Reuters/File Photo) READ Muhammad Ali: A furious and loud fighter whose influence was felt far beyond the ring

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Ali suffered for years from Parkinson’s disease, which ravaged his body but could never dim his larger-than-life presence. A towering figure in his prime, he still traveled and made appearances in his later years despite being muted by the thousands of hits he took during his remarkable career.

Muhammad Ali is seen cuddling his daughters Laila, (L ) and Hana (R) at a Hotel in London, Britain December 19, 1978.(Source: Action Images/MSI/File)

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Ali was hospitalised in Phoenix with respiratory problems earlier this week, and his family gathered around him. He died Friday night, according to a statement from the family.

This is a October 30, 1974, file photo showing George Foreman taking a right to the head from challenger Muhammad Ali in the seventh round in the match dubbed Rumble in the Jungle in Kinshasa, Zaire. (Source: AP Photo/File)

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Ali was a giant of his time _ a furious and loud fighter whose influence was felt far beyond the ring. He engaged in some of the world’s most iconic fights even though his career was interrupted for more than three years when he refused to be drafted for military service during the Vietnam War.

WBC and WIBA super middleweight champion Laila Ali is kissed by her father, boxing great Muhammad Ali, at the MCI Center in Washington in this June 11, 2005 file photo. (Source: Reuters/file)

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Muhammad Ali beat the invincible Sonny Liston, fought a string of thrilling fights with Joe Frazier and stopped George Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire. But he paid a terrible price for the estimated 29,000 punches he took to his head during a career that made him perhaps the most recognized person on earth.

Argentinian boxer Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez (L) and the president of the World Boxing Council, Jose Sulaiman (R), place the crown of "King of Boxing" on former American boxer Muhammad Ali during the 50th Convention of the World Boxing Council in Cancun in this December 3, 2012 file photo. (Source: Reuters/file)

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Despite his debilitating illness, he traveled the world to rapturous receptions even as the once-bellowing voice was reduced to a whisper and he was left to communicate with a wink or a weak smile.

Boxing great Muhammad Ali waves to the crowd during the opening ceremony of the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, in this September 25, 2010 file photo. (Source: Reuters/file)

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Revered-and-reviled by millions, Ali cut quite a figure in his prime, indeed, complete with an entourage nearly as colorful as he was urging him to “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” He finished with a record of 56-5 with 37 knockouts and was the first man to win heavyweight titles three times.

In this February 22, 2012, file photo, Muhammad Ali, center, with the support of sister in-law Marilyn Williams, left, and wife Lonnie, walks through the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's in Phoenix. (Source: AP photo/file)

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Ali's life outside the ring was as fascinating and controversial as his life inside the ropes.

Muhammad Ali (R) (formerly Cassius Clay), is seen here with his trainer Angelo Dundee ahead of his fight with Ernie Terrell at the Astrodome, Houston, Texas, US Feburary 6, 1967. (Source: Action Images/MSI/File)

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Ali spurned white America when he joined the Black Muslims and changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.

World Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali (R), (formerly Cassius Clay), and challenger Henry Cooper fight at Highbury Stadium, London, Britain May 21, 1966 for the World Heavyweight Boxing title. The fight was stopped in the sixth round due to cut above Cooper's left eye. (Source: Action Images/MSI/File)

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The quiet of Ali’s later life was in contrast to the roar of a career that had breathtaking highs as well as terrible lows.

In this July 26, 1976, file photo, world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali is shown trying to evade kicks by wrestler Antonio Inoki during their 15-round World Martial Arts match, in Tokyo. The freak show Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Connor McGregor are talking about probably won’t happen, though stranger things have happened. (Source: AP Photo/File)

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Ali exploded on the public scene in the 1960s with a series of nationally televised fights that gave the public an exciting new champion and entertained millions as he sparred verbally with the likes of bombastic sportscaster Howard Cosell in interviews.

In this May 25, 1965, file photo, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali is held back by referee Joe Walcott, left, after Ali knocked out challenger Sonny Liston in the first round of their title fight in Lewiston, Maine. (Source: AP Photo/File)

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Ali once estimated he had made $57 million in his pro career, but the effect of the punches lingered long after most of the money was gone.

In this May 25, 1965, file photo, Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, stands over challenger Sonny Liston, shouting and gesturing shortly after dropping Liston with a short hard right to the jaw, in Lewiston, Maine. (Source: AP Photo/File)

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Despised by some for his outspoken beliefs and refusal to serve in the US Army in the 1960s, an aging Ali became a poignant figure whose attendance at a sporting event would draw long standing ovations.

Former heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali performs a magic trick during the "Tribute to Bambi" charity gala in the northern German town of Hamburg in this November 26, 2003 file phtoo. (Source: AP photo/file)

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With his face nearly frozen from the disease and his hands trembling, Ali lit the Olympic torch for the 1996 Atlanta Games in a performance as riveting as some of his fights namely, the “Rumble in the Jungle” and the “Thrilla in Manila.”

In this July 17, 1975, file photo, sports promoter Don King stands between Muhammad Ali, left, the heavyweight champion, and Joe Frazier in New York.(Source: AP Photo/File)