Ali’s Greatness Goes Beyond the Ring
Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali, whose dazzling boxing style and controversial stands that made him an influential figure in the 20th century, died on Friday. He was 74 years old.
The former three time heavy weight champion was admitted to a Phoenix hospital on Thursday, with a respiratory-related ailment.
His proclamation of greatness rang true up to today for his legacy in boxing and his courage to speak against racism and truth. He made this famous poetic line “Float like a butterfly, Sting like a bee, Who’s the greatest?” This line still defines Ali today.
The eloquent and great boxing legend has been away from the limelight since he suffered from Parkinson’s disease. Ali’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s came about three years after he retired from boxing in 1981.
Great Inside and Outside the Ring
Ali made a name in the sport of boxing for his dancing feet and quick fists in the 1960’s. His brutal taunts against his opponents made him unique among the rest of the fighters during his time. He was the first person to win the heavyweight championship three times.
But his greatness goes beyond the sport of boxing. His courage to speak against racism and his strong opposition to the Vietnam War garnered admiration from people around the world. In fact, he became an unofficial spokesman for millions of blacks around the world because of his outspoken demeanor on some social issues and for bravely standing up to white authorities.
Reactions Around the Globe
The world is mourning the death of boxing legend, Muhammad Ali. Prominent people around the world expressed their sentiments and grief in some social media platforms.
George Foreman, a former heavyweight boxer and one of Ali’s opponents in the ring said on Twitter, “A part of me slipped away, the greatest piece.”
Ali, Frazier & Foreman we were 1 guy a part of me slipped away "the greatest piece" Muhammad Ali.
— George Foreman (@GeorgeForeman) June 4, 2016
Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr told Fox News that Ali had inspired the black community. “The black community all around the world, black people all around the world, needed him,” he said. “He was the voice for us. He’s the voice for me to be where I’m at today. I just want to thank Muhammad Ali and his family for being such strong people. You will always be missed. My prayers go out to Ali and his family.”
The US boxing promoter Bob Arum, 84, who promoted many of Ali’s fights, said “a true great has left us. Muhammed Ali transformed this country and impacted the world with his spirit.”
A true great has left us. @MuhammadAli transformed this country and impacted the world with his spirit. pic.twitter.com/ByNZYhM2ro
— Bob Arum (@BobArum) June 4, 2016
Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on Jan. 17, 1942. He was baptized by the name Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., a name shared with a 19th century slavery abolitionist. Later, Ali changed his name after his conversion to Islam.
Ali is survived by his wife, the former Lonnie Williams and his nine children.