How did Muhammad Ali come to Parkinson?
Muhammad Ali is dead
The greatest boxer in history has left the ring: Muhammad Ali died in Phoenix on Friday evening, "the Greatest" was 74 years old. "After a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease, Muhammad Ali passed away," said his spokesman, Bob Gunnell, on Saturday morning, German time.
Former heavyweight world champion Ali was admitted to a clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, USA on Thursday due to breathing problems, and reports of a rapid deterioration in his condition increased over the course of Friday evening.
Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky, had had Parkinson's disease since 1984. In 1981 he ended his career.
Voices on the death of Muhammad Ali
"Ali, Frazier and Foreman, we were like one man. Part of me passed away today, the greatest part," wrote George Foreman, one of Ali's greatest opponents, on Twitter.
A legend even in his lifetime
Ali had become a legend in his lifetime. "The Greatest", three times "undisputed champion" of all associations, had shaped boxing like no other athlete before or after it.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted him athlete of the century in 1999. Ali's boxing style went down in history, "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" was the motto of the polarizing athlete.
Ali won the big fights with unprecedented elegance, and commented on his victories with a unique self-confidence.
"The best fighter ever"
"I'm the best fighter of all time. And only just 22," said Ali after the first World Cup victory in 1964 against Sonny Liston: "I have to be the greatest. I am the king of the world. I am beautiful." He later said, "It's difficult to be humble when you're as great as me."
Above all, his battles of the century against Joe Frazier and Foreman are unforgettable. In the "Rumble in the Jungle" on October 30, 1974 in Kinshasa he was hit hard by the favorite Foreman for several rounds before he sent the knockout king, who had been unbeaten in 40 fights, onto the boards in the eighth round.
"Muhammad gave me an overdose from the great right. He won fair and decent, and now I'm just proud to be part of the Ali legend," Foreman said later.
Legendary thrilla in Manila
After losing and beating Frazier in Madison Square Garden on October 1, 1975, the "Thrilla in Manila" took place.
After the 14th lap, Frazier's eyes were swollen shut. Trainer Eddie Futch threw in the towel. Shortly thereafter, Ali collapsed with a circulatory system - he had received 440 hits, most of them on the head.
Many saw the suicidal act as the cause of his later Parkinson's disease.
Martin Luther King is also an admirer
Despite his cockiness, Ali also became a role model for millions outside the ring. With tremendous charisma and great persuasiveness, with religious and political straightforwardness, he broke through countless resistances, especially for all African-Americans.
Two days after his World Cup victory over Liston, Ali converted to Islam and dropped the "slave name" Cassius Clay. He refused military service in Vietnam and accepted that he lost the world title in 1967 and was banned for three years.
"He gave up fame, millions of dollars, to stand up for what his consciousness advised him to do," said Martin Luther King.
Memorable appearance at the 1996 Olympics
Since his illness, Ali withdrew more and more, but did not want to do without public appearances entirely. His most memorable success was at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, when he lit the Olympic flame with a shaky hand as a surprise guest.
He continued his social commitment and continued to express his weighty opinion on political issues. It was only in December that Ali published a statement in which he responded with clear words to US presidential candidate Donald Trump's call for an entry ban for Muslims.
"Muhammad Ali transformed this country and influenced the whole world with his spirit," says long-time promoter Bob Arum of the "greatest in the world": "His legacy will forever be part of our history."
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