Tributes to an icon: Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)
Muhammad Ali will forever be known as one of the most inspirational boxers in history and one of the greatest sportsmen the world has ever seen.
From the glory days of rumbling in the jungle and thrilling in Manilla to his fight with Parkinson’s disease, the man, known simply as ‘The Greatest’, lived up to his title all his life.
Following his sad passing on Friday 3rd June, tributes poured in for the icon from all over the world.
In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron lead the way with a message on Twitter, writing: “Muhammad Ali was not just a champion in the ring - he was a champion of civil rights, and a role model for so many people.”
In the world of boxing, current heavyweight star, Anthony Joshua, called Ali an idol. “Rest in peace, Muhammad Ali,” he wrote. “Thank you for inspiring and empowering athletes everywhere.
“He was and still is an inspiration to so many. RIP the greatest.”
Bolton’s Amir Khan reflected on the time he met with the former world champion in his message.
“It is extremely sad to witness the passing of boxing's greatest fighter and icon Muhammad Ali,” he said.
“I would like to send my deepest condolences and thoughts to his family at this time.
“No fighter or sportsman will ever reach the level of Muhammad Ali, whose name will continue to echo through the ages. Inspiring, charismatic, a true legend - Ali will never be forgotten.
“Having the chance to meet the great man will be a memory and privilege I will always hold dear to me - an incredible human being, fighter and role model.
“Thank you Muhammad for inspiring us all.”
Nicola Adams, who won Gold at the London Olympics in 2012, says Ali was inspiration for her as she paved the way for women to pursue a career in boxing.
“He said he was ‘The Greatest’ and he really was,” she wrote in a personal blog. “He was the greatest boxer that ever lived.
“I never got to meet him, unfortunately, but he was a great person inside and outside of the ring and he will definitely be missed by a lot of people.
“My favourite memory of him is the Rumble in the Jungle fight against George Foreman in 1974. I’m the sort of person who goes back and watches the old classic fights and that one is definitely my favourite.
“He was a very special character and I’m not sure there’ll ever be anyone like him again. He was one of my heroes and there are things about the way he fought that I try and bring to my style – I even did the Ali shuffle during a fight at London 2012.”