PHOENIX, ARIZ. –Three time world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali has died at the age of 74. Ali had been hospitalized recently and had fought a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
“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,” said spokesperson Bob Gunnell.
Ali was a dominant figure in boxing for decades and one of the most recognizable celebrities in the world at the height of his career. He won the world heavyweight title in 1964, 1974, and 1978. Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and George Foreman were among his most recognizable foes.
Calling himself the “greatest of all time,” Ali was a flamboyant self-promoter who was usually able to back up his bravado in the ring.
Current heavyweight world champion, Deontay Wilder of Tuscaloosa, called Ali his idol.
“Words can’t describe how I felt about this man,” Wilder said.
Ali will be buried in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.