Three-Time Heavyweight Champion Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali Dies At Age 74

By  //  June 4, 2016

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1942-2016

ABOVE VIDEO: Muhammad Ali, the three-time heavyweight champion boxer whose electrifying prowess in the ring and controversial outspokenness outside of it made him one of the world’s most recognizable personalities of the 20th Century, died after a battle with a respiratory illness. (FOX NEWS Video)

(FOX NEWS) – Muhammad Ali, the three-time heavyweight champion boxer whose electrifying prowess in the ring and controversial outspokenness outside of it made him one of the world’s most recognizable personalities of the 20th Century, died after a battle with a respiratory illness. He was 74.

Ali, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome in 1984, died at a Phoenix hospital.

At the time fighting under his birth name, Cassius Clay first gained worldwide notice at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, where he won gold as a heavyweight. He more fully burst onto the public scene in 1964, when as a 7-1 underdog he fought and defeated Sonny Liston for the professional heavyweight championship. Loudly and frequently vowing to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,”

Ali knocked out Liston in seven rounds, becoming, at the time, the youngest champion in history, at the age of 22.

It was before the Liston fight that Ali made his famous “I Am the Greatest” speech, a phrase he repeated – and others chanted along with him – countless times in the ensuing years, as he racked up famous quotes, quips and occasional diatribes as easily as he did knockouts. While boxing made him famous, it was that unparalleled showmanship and activism outside the ring that cemented his status as the most recognized person in the world.

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