“The Greatest” as he himself would proclaim has unfortunately passed away at the age of 74. Muhammad Ali was no doubt one of the few most famous athletes to have ever walked among us, sadly he will no longer be here with us in the flesh after a family spokesman had announced his passing earlier today on Friday in Phoenix, Arizona.
Ali, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome in 1984, the result of taking too many punches during his years in the ring, particularly at the end of his career, was hospitalized on June 2 in Phoenix for a respiratory ailment said spokesman Bob Gunnell.
“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,” Gunnell stated. He then later added that, “The Ali family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and support and asks for privacy at this time.”
His sudden passing was announced on social media when his official Twitter page posted a photo of Muhammad Ali himself with the caption, “Muhammad Ali. 1942-2016.”
To the boxer’s closest friends and family, they were aware of his body’s deterioration lately. He was hospitalized in January 2015 with a urinary tract infection and even before that was for pneumonia in December 2014.
Hours before Muhammad Ali had passed away, Laila Ali, Muhammad Ali’s daughter had posted a photo of her dad and her daughter when she was just born in 2011, she captioned the photo saying, “I love this photo of my father and my daughter Sydney when she was a baby! Thanks for all the love and well wishes. I feel your love and appreciate it!!”
Many others who were once in the ring with him also shared their grief with the world after learning that the legend had passed away. One of which was George Foreman, who Ali defeated in 1974 for the world heavyweight title, wrote on Twitter that “A part of me slipped away, “The greatest piece.”
After his retirement, Ali had stayed away from the public eye for the most of recent years. Though he had came back for two more matches after two years of retirement, he didn’t gain any wins from both. Though he may had stayed away from the boxing spotlight, he had appeared at several Parkinson fundraisers and campaigns over the years. Something he suffers with as well.
Ali was no doubt an icon to the world, a figure to look up to for all athletes in any field, track or even rings. His ability to capture the hearts of many and to play to the media was legendary. He was playful, charming and moreover a professional in the ring. Men and women, boys and girls would gather at the front of their televisions to watch every single one of his matches.
My dad used to tell me that whenever he had a match, the school would stop the classes just so they could watch him box. He was an icon to every individual across the globe. Winning titles over titles, capturing the attention and hearts of millions – if not billions!
His passing may be sudden, his matches may have been quick, his body may have aged but his name shall live on and on till the end of days as an icon to all generations. Thank you for your contributions to the world and may you rest in peace.
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”