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Sunday, 05 June 2016

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Ali Fighter for justice and in ring

Muhammad Ali was remembered in tributes worldwide for his iconic fight for social justice as well as his legendary boxing battles following his death Friday at age 74.


Muhammad Ali after first round knockout of Sonny Liston during World Heavyweight Title fight at St. Dominicís Arena in Lewiston, Maine on 5/25/1965.

"We lost a giant today," Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao said. "Boxing benefitted from Muhammad Ali's talents but not as much as mankind benefitted from his humanity."

George Foreman, Ali's most famous knockout victim from the Rumble in the Jungle, noted Ali and his other main rival, Joe Frazier, in tweeting: "Ali, Frazier and Foreman we were 1 guy. A part of me slipped away, The greatest piece."

The front page headline on Ali's hometown newspaper, the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, simply said, "The Greatest" with a photo of Ali in the ring.

Ali spoke out for African-American civil rights in the 1960s, carrying on his fight against injustice and sacrificing the prime years of his own career in the process.

"He is, without a question in my mind, the most transformative person of our time," boxing promoter Bob Arum said.

Ali, born Cassius Clay, beat Sonny Liston in 1964 to win the heavyweight title but was stripped of his titles in 1967 when he refused to join the US Army and fight in the Vietnam War. He was banned from boxing until 1970, and in 1971 the US Supreme Court ruled in his favor in sitting out the war.

"When people saw what he had done for what he believed in, threw away 3 1/2 years of his career and he remained steadfast, he came through all of that bigger and more important than ever before," Arum said.

"People looked at him and said there was something special about him. Any man willing to make that kind of sacrifice for his beliefs had to be respected."

(AFP)

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