It’s a heartbreaking day in the world of boxing. “The Greatest” boxer to have ever stepped in the ring, Muhammad Ali has met his demise at the age of 74.
According to Huffington Post, a source close to the family revealed Ali was in grave condition on Friday night. The champion was admitted in a Phoenix-area hospital on Friday to undergo respiratory treatment, but his health continued to deteriorate.
The family’s spokesman Bob Gunnell confirmed Ali’s death. “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,” he told NBC News.
It was not the first time the three-time heavyweight champion was hospitalized, as he has been battling with Parkinson’s disease for decades. According to CNN, Ali also dealt with pneumonia in December 2014 and was once again admitted for severe urinary tract infection in January last year.
Ali fought 61 times with 56 wins, including 37 knockout victories. The Louisville, Kentucky native was also awarded “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated in 1999 for his achievement as a professional boxer. Floyd Mayweather Jr. mourned the death of the boxing icon.
“He’s one of the guys that paved the way for me to be where I am today,” Mayweather told ESPN. “We lost a legend, a hero and a great man.”
Ali is considered by many as the best fighter in boxing history, but he is also known for his contributions outside the world of the professional sport. His battle against racism and religion discrimination made headlines and touched the lives of many people.
“We lost a giant today. Boxing benefited from Ali’s talents but not nearly as much as mankind benefited from his humanity,” Manny Pacquiao told Los Angeles Times.
Ali’s last appearance was during a Parkinson’s disease fundraiser in April. His funeral will be in Louisville. His spokesman told reporters more details will be released to the public on Saturday morning.