“What’s my name? What’s my name?” Muhammad Ali The Greatest died at the age of 74 on Friday. Ali was admitted to the hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, due to respiratory problems. According to Bob Gunnell, family spokesman, the legendary boxer died of septic shock.
Hana Ali, daughter, mentioned Ali’s heart was beating even though other organs failed. She said “No one had ever seen anything like it. A true testament to the strength of his Spirit and Will!”
“It’s a sad day for life, man. I loved Muhammad Ali, he was my friend. Ali will never die. Like Martin Luther King his spirit will live on, he stood for the world.” Don King, who bolstered some of Ali’s biggest fights informed The Associated Press.
Cassius Marcellus Clay was born on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. At the age of 12, Ali took up boxing under the training of policeman Joe Martin. The young boxer began climbing the ladder to the top becoming the first boxer who held the heavyweight title three times.
Ali floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee against some of his fiercest opponents like George Foreman, Sonny Liston, and Joe Frazier.
Aside from his boxing career, Ali was a devout Muslim. Many were stunned or furious at his announcement of being part of the Nation of Islam or Black Muslims. Ali decided to reject his “slave name” and became Muhammad Ali.
Ali was despised even more when he refused his draft into the military during the Vietnam War. He firmly stood his ground because it was against his Muslim beliefs and said “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.” The boxer was convicted of draft evasion and his boxing career was put on hold.
When Ali’s boxing career ended later on, he was to become an evangelist for Islam but Parkinson’s disease stole a lot from him. He could barely talk or move.
Muhammad Ali’s funeral will be at Louisville, Kentucky.