The world pay tribute to Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Tahir Hassan, Abuja

Muhammad Ali in his prime

Former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74.

According to a family spokesman, Ali died at a hospital in the US city of phoenix, Arizona after being admitted on Thursday.

The iconic figure was reported to be suffering from a respiratory illness, a condition that was complicated by Parkinson’s disease.

The funeral will take place in Ali’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, his family said in a statement.

Shortly after the announcement of his death, tributes from people around the world began pouring in.

Boxing promoter Don King who promoted many of Ali’s fight said: “It’s a sad day for life, man. I loved Muhammad Ali, he was my friend. Ali will never die. Like Martin Luther King his spirit will live on, he stood for the world.”

Ali’s friend and rival in the famous Rumble in the Jungle said this of the late legend “Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest human beings I have ever met. No doubt he was one of the best people to have lived in this day and age.”

Another boxing legend Mike Tyson also posted on this social media handle “God came for his champion. So long great one. @MuhammadAli #The Greatest #RIP”

Below are some selected tributes from people across the world.

“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.” – Floyd Mayweather, world champion boxer across five divisions

He came, he fought, he conquered, and now he rests. Goodnight, Muhammad Ali. – Atiku Abubakar, former Nigerian Vice President

“Muhammad Ali was not just a champion in the ring – he was a champion of civil rights, and a role model for so many people.” – David Cameron, British Prime Minister

“The greatest has fought his final round. Muhammad Ali was the most magnificent athlete who transcended his sport. #RIP.” – Gary Lineker, English football legend

“At a time when blacks who spoke up about injustice were labelled uppity and often arrested under one pretext or another, Muhammad willingly sacrificed the best years of his career to stand tall and fight for what he believed was right. In doing so, he made all Americans, black and white, stand taller. I may be 7ft 2in but I never felt taller than when standing in his shadow.” –  former basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“We lost a giant today. Boxing benefitted from Muhammad Ali’s talents but not as much as mankind benefitted from his humanity.”  Filipino six-weight world champion Manny Pacquiao