Born on 17 January 1942, Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., better known by his ring name Muhammad Ali, is unarguably one of the greatest, if not the greatest, professional boxers to have ever walked on the face of the earth. In his illustrious and controversial career which lasted more than two decades, he gave us several memorable fights and also broke numerous world records.
The boxing legend left the world at the age of 74 on 3 June 2016. While fans are quite aware of Ali’s dazzling career and his amazing fights, not many know how he died. Here is some information regarding how Muhammad Ali died and what was the cause of his demise.
(Image Courtesy: NBC News)
In 1984, after having retired from boxing three years ago, Ali was diagnosed with the Parkinson’s disease -- a disorder of the nervous system which affects movement and often causes tremors. It was concluded that injuries to the brain that the boxer endured during his matches were what caused it.
Though his health kept on deteriorating, the legend kept up appearances in the following years before finally deciding to evade the public eye in the late 1990s when the ailment had drastically affected his mobility and speech.
(Image Courtesy: The Sport Digest)
In the early 2015, things took a turn for worse when Ali, having dealt with pneumonia some time ago, was diagnosed and hospitalized for severe urinary tract infection. Then again, in early June 2016, the reports of the revered athlete being taken to the hospital after having a respiratory issue came out. The news of his demise did not take too long as on 3 June, he succumbed to septic shock.
Survived by his fourth wife, Yolanda (Lonnie), whom he married in 1986, Ali also had nine children, including the former boxing champion Laila Ali. Mohammad Ali had already planned the memorial service years prior to his death and wanted to give everybody a chance to pay their respects. The event, which lasted three days, was held in his hometown, Louisville, which included a city-sponsored ‘I Am Ali’ festival.
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The memorial service for the champion was held at KFC Yum Center Arena and was attended with almost 20,000 people. The speakers at the event included former president Bill Clinton, Malcolm X’s eldest daughter Attallah Shabaaz and several people from his family.
Before you go, check out these interesting facts about the iconic boxer.
#1. During his career as an amateur boxer, Ali won 100 of his 108 fights, which includes six Kentucky Golden Gloves championships.
(Image Courtesy: CNN)
#2. Before he was bestowed with his holy name in March 1964 by the Nation of Islam-leader Elijah Muhammad, he had renounced his surname and was known as ‘Cassius X’.
#3. While the boxer only earned USD 630,000 for his match against Liston when he earned his first heavyweight championship, the gloves he wore during the fight brought him USD 836,000 after nearly 50 years.
(Image Courtesy: Mirror)
#4. During his three-month suspension from the ring, Ali starred in a Broadway musical named ‘Buck White’, playing the title role.
#5. He was named after a white abolitionist of the 19th century who emancipated 40 slaves he inherited from his father.
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