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Muhammad Ali: The Boxing Legend and Fighter who transcended sports world, dies at 74

Ali spoke out against racism, war and religious intolerance, while projecting an unshakeable confidence that became a model for African-Americans at the height of the civil rights era and beyond

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Muhammad Ali. Image source: Collider.com
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  • Along with a fearsome reputation as a fighter, Ali spoke out against racism, war and religious intolerance
  • Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome which impaired his speech
  • Ali was stripped of his world boxing crown for refusing to join the U.S. Army and fight in Vietnam

The death of Muhammad Ali, the former heavyweight champion known as much for his political activism as his boxing brilliance, triggered a worldwide outpouring of affection and admiration for one of the best-known figures of the 20th century.

Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome which impaired his speech and made the once-graceful athlete almost a prisoner in his own body, died on Friday, June 3 at age 74.

The cause of death was septic shock due to unspecified natural causes, a family spokesman said on Saturday, June 4. Ali was admitted to a Phoenix-area hospital, HonorHealth, with a respiratory ailment on Monday, May 30.

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“He’ll be remembered as a man of the world who spoke his mind and wasn’t afraid to take a chance and went out of his way to be a kind, benevolent individual that really changed the world,” the family spokesman, Bob Gunnell, said at a news conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Despite Ali’s failing health, his youthful proclamation that he was “the greatest” rang true until the end for millions of people around the world who respected him for his courage both inside and outside the ring.

President Jimmy Carter greets Muhammad Ali at a White House dinner, 1977. Image source: Wikipedia
President Jimmy Carter greets Muhammad Ali at a White House dinner, 1977. Image source: Wikipedia

Along with a fearsome reputation as a fighter, Ali spoke out against racism, war and religious intolerance, while projecting an unshakeable confidence that became a model for African-Americans at the height of the civil rights era and beyond.

Stripped of his world boxing crown for refusing to join the U.S. Army and fight in Vietnam,Ali returned in triumph by recapturing the title and starring in some of the sport’s most unforgettable bouts.

“I think when you talk about Muhammad Ali, as great an athlete, as great a boxer as he was, he was the greatest boxer of all time, he means so much more to the United Statesand the world,” said Ali’s long-time friend, boxing promoter Bob Arum.

"I'll leave you with one that I have hanging on my office wall, compliments of Nike: Impossible is nothing," Muhammad Ali. In photo- Michael Jordan vs Muhammad Ali (Image source: likesuccess.com)
“I’ll leave you with one that I have hanging on my office wall, compliments of Nike: Impossible is nothing,” Muhammad Ali. In photo- Michael Jordan vs Muhammad Ali (Image source: likesuccess.com)

“He was a transformative figure in our society.”

Bursting onto the boxing scene in the 1960s with a brashness that threatened many whites, Ali would come to be embraced by Americans of all races for his grace, integrity and disarming sense of humor.

“In the end, he went from being reviled to being revered,” civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson told CNN on Saturday.

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Pam Dorrough, a tourist in New York’s Times Square, admired Ali’s refusal to apologize for what he believed.

“The confidence – and I know everybody thought it was an arrogance about him – he always projected a confidence,” she said. “And he stood by that.”

President Barack Obama, the first African-American to reach the White House, said Ali was “a man who fought for us” and placed him in the pantheon of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela. (Reuters)

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Amitabh Bachchan Talks About Sports as The Identity of a Nation

Amitabh Bachchan is gearing up for the release of his upcoming film "Thugs Of Hindostan"

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Amitabh Bachchan
Sportsmen are nation's brand ambassadors: Big B.

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan says sports is the identity of a nation and sportsmen are the brand ambassadors.

Amitabh Bachchan on Monday night shared a photograph of himself along with the players of the Indian hockey team from the sets of “Kaun Banega Crorepati”.

He captioned the image: “Honouring the Indian hockey team on KBC Karmveer episode. Their dedication, their effort for the country is beyond compare. Jab hum apne desh ki khiladiyon ko sammanit karte hai to hum desh ko bhi sammanit karte hai. Desh ka gaurav hai yeh, tirangey ki shaan aur maan hai yeh. (When we honour our country’s sportsmen, we honour the nation. They are the pride of the nation. They are the pride and glory of the flag).”

The 75-year-old actor took to his blog and wrote: “Sport is the identity of a nation .. when we excel in a routine the World takes notice. Sportsmen are a nations brand ambassadors… for merit for glory for the recognition that we are blessed with.

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan. Pixabay

The “Piku” star then sought support for the Indian men’s hockey team for the World Cup, which will be taking place in Odisha in November and December.

“Our mens hockey team taking on in a month, the challenge of the World Cup to be held in Odisha in November. our pride our heroes. They need our support and encouragement. Come in large numbers to cheer for them in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

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“The cheers that surround the playing field is the adrenalin that players need for achieving victory,” he added.

On the acting front, Amitabh Bachchan is gearing up for the release of his upcoming film “Thugs Of Hindostan”. It also stars superstar Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Sheikh. (IANS)