PHOENIX (AP) – Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali has died at the age of 74 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Ali had been battling health issues for several years leading up to his death.
The boxing great’s respiratory issues were complicated by the Parkinson’s that he was diagnosed with in the 1980s, the Associated Press reported.
Considered one of the greatest boxers to ever put on a pair of gloves, Ali retired with a 56-5 record. Ali also won a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.
Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. on Jan. 17, 1942, Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali after converting to Islam.
Known as Cassius Clay at the time, he won his first heavyweight title in 1964 from Sonny Liston. He defended his title in a rematch the following year and went undefeated until he was banned from the sport in 1967 for refusing to fight in Vietnam. Ali was stripped of the titles and didn’t return to the ring until 1970.
The following year, Ali met Joe Frazier in “The Fight of the Century,” a 15-round unanimous decision loss to Frazier. It was the first blemish on Ali’s record. Ali would fight a trilogy against Frazier, winning in 1974 and once more in 1975 in “The Thrilla in Manilla.”
Ali’s 1974 victory against George Foreman was a signature win for Ali, defeating the stronger Foreman by allowing Foreman to wear himself out with punches in “The Rumble in the Jungle.”
Ali’s career continued into the early 1980s, but saw a marked decline with losses against Leon Spinks, Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick. The 1981 loss against Berbick was the final professional fight for Ali.
Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the 1980s.
Ali’s daughter Laila was also a successful boxer, compiling a 24-0 record.