“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
Muhammad Ali, aged 74, sadly passed away at the weekend.
Remembered by loved ones, friends and fans, the three-time heavyweight champion lost his life at the Phoenix-area hospital after being treated for respiratory complications.
A spokesperson for the family told PEOPLE that Ali’s funeral would take place in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
“After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening,” spokesman Bob Gunnell said in a statement. “The Ali family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and support and asks for privacy at this time.”
The legend had been battling Parkinson’s disease since 1984 – three years after his retirement from professional boxing.
One of Ali’s defining moments, aside from his sporting achievements, was his refusal to be drafted into the Vietnam War.
The decision cost him his title and years of potential fights but, ever the activist, Ali stayed true to himself and remained steadfast in his refusal to participate in the widely unsupported war.
“My conscious won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what?”
Ali was named a Messenger of Peace by the United Nations in 1998, “Over the years Mr. Ali has been a relentless advocate for people in need and a significant humanitarian actor in the developing world, supporting relief and development initiatives and hand-delivering food and medical supplies to hospitals, street children and orphanages in Africa and Asia,” the organisation said.
Ali retired in 1981 with a record of 56 wins, 5 losses and 37 knockouts.
He will always be known as the greatest boxer that ever lived.