20°C / 22°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 11°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 3°C
  • Mon
  • 25°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 16°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 13°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 7°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 3°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 1°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 0°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 32°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 12°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 8°C

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dies

Former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali was close to death in a Phoenix-area hospital on Friday.

A file photo of boxer Muhammad Ali in Los Angeles, California, in 2005. Picture: AFP/Getty Images.

JOHANNESBURG - Boxing great Muhammad Ali has died at the age of 74.

Ali, the silver-tongued boxer and civil rights champion who famously proclaimed himself "The Greatest" and then spent a lifetime living up to the billing, was hospitalised this week for a respiratory ailment.



WATCH: A tribute in song.

He had been fighting a respiratory illness, a condition that has been further complicated by Parkinson's disease.

Ali relied on his superior hand speed, reflexes and constant movement, dancing and circling opponents for most of the fight.

His footwork was so strong that it was extremely difficult for opponents to cut down the ring and corner Ali against the ropes.

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Ali shot to fame by winning light-heavyweight gold at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

Many boxing purists still refer to Mohammad Ali as the best fighter to ever grace a boxing ring.

Ali relied on his superior hand speed, reflexes and constant movement, dancing and circling opponents for most of the fight.

His footwork was so strong that it was extremely difficult for opponents to cut down the ring and corner Ali against the ropes.

It was a style that saw Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jnr, win multiple world heavy weight titles. Ali was not without controversy and often found himself in trouble with authorities because of his outspoken nature.

Ali was outspoken about religious freedom and racial injustice against young African Americans. At the age of 22 he won the world heavyweight championship in 1964 from Sonny Liston in a shocking upset. Shortly after that bout, Ali joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name.

In 1967, three years after winning the heavyweight title, Ali refused to be conscripted into the US military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War.

He was eventually arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing title. He did not fight again for nearly four years,losing a time of peak performance in an athlete's career.

Ali craved the spotlight, often took control of press conferences and always entertained crowds wherever he went. He was famous for his trash talk and getting under his opponents skin.

Ali went on to win some of the greatest fights of all time; The Rumble in the Jungle in 1974 where he famously beat George Foreman on African soil, fighting in front of thousands in Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo.





A year later, Ali was involved in another epic battle, this time defeating Joe Frazier in the Thrilla in Manila.

Despite his high profile, Ali's opinion, peace and goodwill never ceased.

Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's syndrome in 1984, a disease that is common to head trauma from activities such as boxing.

In recent weeks, members of Ali's family commented on his declining health.

His brother Rahman attended a screening of a new Ali film in Hollywood and told reporters he hadn't been able to talk to his brother in recent times because he was sick.

However, Ali's daughter May denied the rumours, saying she had spoken to her father in recent times and he was fine, saying he was "talking well. These rumours pop up every once in a while but there's nothing to them."

The world will never forget Muhammad Ali. His talent, his beliefs, his charisma.