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Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali Dies At 74 After Battling With Respiratory Illness

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One of the world's best known athletes, Muhammad Ali, died on Friday, June 3 at the age of 74. The boxing legend suffered from respiratory conditions that were further complicated by his Parkinson's disease.

The former world heavyweight boxing champion was admitted at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona last Thursday, June 2. What was supposed to be a short hospital stay worsened overnight.

"After a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease ... the three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening," said family spokesman Bob Gunnell.

Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the 1980s. His condition didn't keep him away from the public that in 1996, he famously lit the Olympic torch in Atlanta despite trembling badly.

According to Ali's doctors, his Parkinson's diagnosis was most likely the result of the thousands of punches the boxing champion endured throughout his career.

In recent years, Ali had been hospitalized many times, including one time in early 2015 when he received treatment for a severe case of urinary tract infection.

Despite his failing condition, Ali attended several public events. On April 8, he attended the Celebrity Fight Night dinner in Phoenix, a yearly event that raises funds for the Parkinson's disease treatment.

Ali's fight with Parkinson's disease lasted for almost three decades and the boxing champion put up a good fight. According to Ali's family, a funeral will be held at the boxer's hometown in Louisville, Kentucky.

"The Greatest"

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay and was catapulted to the spotlight after winning the gold medal for the light-heavyweight boxing at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

Ali won his first world title in 1964 and became the first boxing athlete to win a world heavyweight title three times.

In 1967, Ali's decision to oppose the United States' war in Vietnam earned him much criticism from his fellow Americans. His refusal to be drafted into the American military ended in the stripping off his boxing title and world title. He did not fight for almost four years.

Ali went back to the ring in 1971 when his draft refusal conviction was overturned. His succeeding fights restored his great public reputation.

In 1981, Ali retired with a record of 61 fights and 56 wins.

"There will never be another Muhammad Ali. The black community all around the world, black people all around the world, needed him. He was the voice for us. He's the voice for me to be where I'm at today," said boxer Floyd Mayweather.

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