The world Friday lost the greatest boxing champion of all times Mohammed Ali aged 74, after thirty two years battle with Parkinson syndrome disease.
Born Cassius Clay in Louisville Kentucky in 1942, he ventured into the punch for punch trade at age 12 on the advice and tutorage of a local police officer Joe Martin, who saw the boxing talents in him and by 1960 at a young age of 18 won the Olympic Light Heavy weight boxing gold medal in Rome.
In 1964 he won the World Heavy weight boxing championship title after defeating Sonny Liston. He converted to Islam same year and changed his name to Mohammed Ali same year saying the former name was a slave name.
Ali in 1967 was sentenced to five years in prison for refusing military induction service during the Vietnam War and in the process also got striped of his boxing championship belts. He however, stayed out of prison throughout the appeal and finally had the sentence quashed by the Supreme Court in 1971.
The most prominent fights of his carrier were the “Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire against George Foreman in 1974 and the “Thriller in Manila” against Joe Frazier in 1975 where he won both championship fights.
He retired from boxing in 1981 and later got diagnosed with Parkinson Syndrome in 1984.
Ali in 1996 with over 3 billion viewers worldwide emotionally lit the Olympic Cauldron at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics games during the opening ceremony of the games
He was a philanthropist and courageous social activist with a conscience who was awarded the prestigious Presidential Freedom medal in 2005 by President George W. Bush.
Mohammed Ali was hospitalized for respiratory issues when he passed on to eternal glory.
May the soul of boxing greatest Rest in Peace