Saturday, June 4, 2016

The World Pay Tribute To Mohammed Ali

Boxing icons like Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather were among a number of famous faces to pay tribute to boxing legend Muhammed Ali on social media after the three-time heavyweight champion sadly passed away at the age of 74.

Respiratory problems complicated by a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease, saw Ali pass away early on Saturday morning in Arizona after being taken to hospital late on Friday evening.

Condolences from sporting and global figures from across the world poured in for the man dubbed 'the greatest' who was recognised not just for his achievements in the ring, but his larger-than-life personality and strong beliefs that transcended beyond the ropes and helped to inspire millions.

Former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, who took over the mantle from Ali in the late 80's, and revive the division to heights not seen since the great man was in his prime, posted the following message on Twitter which read: 'God came for his champion. So long great one.

Recently retired Floyd Mayweather, who goes by the acronym TBE (the best ever) after ending his career unbeaten, was another boxer to post a heartfelt message onto his Instagram account, thanking Ali not just for his efforts in the squared circle, but his cultural standing during a difficult era.

'Today my heart goes out to a pioneer, a true legend, and a hero by all means! Not a day went by entering the gym that I didn't think of you.

'Your charisma, your charm and above all, your class are all of the elements that will be greatly missed by myself and the world. You are someone that inspired me greatly throughout my boxing journey and words cannot express how great you were as a person!

'Thank you for everything you've done for Black America, in the world of sports & entertainment and for the legacy you leave behind! My sincerest condolences to the Ali family!

President Barack Obama reacted to the news of Ali passing and said he will always be the champion.

'This is the Muhammad Ali who continues to inspire us — the man who believed real success comes when we rise after we fall; who has shown us that through undying faith and steadfast love, each of us can make this world a better place. He will always be the champ.

Once a rival, then a close friend, George Foreman, who took on Ali in one of his most famous fights, the Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) back in 1974, said his former foe was 'something special'.

'Muhammad Ali made you love him,' Foreman told BBC Five Live. 'If you dislike him you wanted more than anything to see him again so you could dislike him again.

'Beauty is how you would describe him. Muhammad Ali was what I call beautiful.'

In an Instagram post, former England captain and Manchester United midfielder David Beckham posted a short, but telling tribute.

Under a picture of Ali, he wrote: 'Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.'

Manny Pacquiao, the former eight-weight world champion, now a politician in his native Philippines , said in a statement: 'We lost a giant today. Boxing benefited from Muhammad Ali's many talents but not nearly as much as mankind benefited from his humanity.'

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