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Summary

  1. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has died, aged 74, a family spokesman has said
  2. He was admitted to hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, on Thursday with a respiratory illness
  3. His funeral will take place in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky
  4. The former heavyweight champion was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1984

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our colleagues at BBC Sport have all the latest tributes and reaction to the death of Muhammad Ali. 

You can follow their live page here.

Muhammad Ali and the Olympics

1960 Olympic medals for light heavyweight boxing on the winners' podium at Rome
Getty Images

At the 1960 Rome Olympics, Muhammad Ali - then Cassius Clay - won the gold medal for light heavyweight boxing. 

Muhammad Ali with the Olympic torch in Atlanta in 1996
Allsport/Getty Images

When the Olympics came to Atlanta in 1996, Ali - who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's Syndrome in 1984 - was watched by billions around the world as he lit the Olympic cauldron.   

Ali receiving his replacement gold medal
Getty Images

Ali, who had thrown his original gold medal into the Ohio River when he was criticised for not fighting in Vietnam, received a replacement medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.   

Muhammad Ali and his wife Yolanda at the 2012 Olympic Games
Getty Images

And at the most recent Olympic Games, at London in 2012, Ali made a special appearance to be a flag bearer.

Ali's daughter: 'Our father was a humble mountain'

Hana Ali tweets...

Listen: George Foreman speaks on BBC Radio 4's Today programme

George Foreman pays tribute to his boxing opponent and close friend, Muhammad Ali

Trump: Ali 'will be missed by all'

Republican presumptive nominee tweets...

Watch: Michael Parkinson interview with Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali appeared on Michael Parkinson's chat show four times. 

In this 1974 clip, at the peak of his career, Ali speaks movingly about the reasons why he fights. 

'Bragging into an art form'

Ali turned bragging into an art form, the Los Angeles Times says.  "I'm so mean I make medicine sick," he once quipped, and "I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark."  

Bill Clinton: Ali 'became greater than his legend'

US President Bill Clinton presents boxing legend Muhammad Ali with the Presidential Citizens Medal during ceremonies 08 January 2001 at the White House in Washington, DC
AFP/Getty

Hillary and I are saddened by the passing of Muhammad Ali. From the day he claimed the Olympic gold medal in 1960, boxing fans across the world knew they were seeing a blend of beauty and grace, speed and strength that may never be matched again.

We watched him grow from the brash self-confidence of youth and success into a manhood full of religious and political convictions that led him to make tough choices and live with the consequences. Along the way we saw him courageous in the ring, inspiring to the young, compassionate to those in need, and strong and good-humored in bearing the burden of his own health challenges.

I was honored to award him the Presidential Citizens Medal at the White House, to watch him light the Olympic flame, and to forge a friendship with a man who, through triumph and trials, became even greater than his legend. Our hearts go out to Lonnie, his children, and his entire family.

Ali's rhymes remembered

Ali will be remembered as much for his rhymes as boxing, The Washington Post says, which he used to belittle his opponents and embellish his own abilities.

“This is the legend of Cassius Clay, the most beautiful fighter in the world today,” the paper quotes him saying before his 1964 title bout. 

“The brash young boxer is something to see, and the heavyweight championship is his destiny.”

Watch: Muhammad Ali's life and career

The BBC's Joe Wilson takes a look back at the life and career of Muhammad Ali. You can watch the video obituary above.

'More than the sum of his athletic gifts'

Ali was the most thrilling if not the best heavyweight ever, The New York Times says, carrying into the ring a physically lyrical, unorthodox boxing style that fused speed, agility and power more seamlessly than that of any fighter before him.

"But he was more than the sum of his athletic gifts," the paper says. "An agile mind, a buoyant personality, a brash self-confidence and an evolving set of personal convictions fostered a magnetism that the ring alone could not contain. He entertained as much with his mouth as with his fists, narrating his life with a patter of inventive doggerel."

Tributes being paid to Muhammad Ali

Figures from the world of boxing and beyond have been paying tribute to Muhammad Ali since the news of his death at the age of 74 broke earlier this morning. 

Don King describes it as a "sad day for life", while Manny Pacquiao says: "We lost a giant today". 

We're collating the tributes as they come in - read more here.

Don King
Getty Images

Hatton: 'It was an honour to meet Ali'

British boxer tweets...

Khan tweets tribute to Ali

Two-time former world champion tweets...

'More courageous in later life'

Bill Clinton and Muhammad Ali
Getty Images

From our archive: Former US President Bill Clinton told BBC 5 live in 2011

"The courage Muhammad Ali showed as an older man in later life battling Parkinson's Disease was every bit as great as that showed earlier in his boxing career when he risked having his body, brain and face regularly being battered."

Muhammad Ali was 'the ultimate hero'

World cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew tells BBC 5 Live:

He was the ultimate hero. It's heartbreaking news to wake up to. The greatest sportsman of all-time in my opinion. He transcended the sport and this is a sad day. I hope something can be named after him. He can never be replicated.

Ali 'did so much for the game'

Promoter Eddie Hearn says on Sky Sports News: "Icon is a word that gets bandied around but it's the best word to use to describe Muhammad Ali. He transcended the sport."

He adds:

He lived and stood for so many things, and was someone who was instantly recognisable. He was a true legend of the sport and after a long period of suffering, he rests in peace now, God willing. It's a really sad day for boxing and he was a man that did so much for the game.

Muhammad Ali: In pictures

Here are just a few of the many pictures from Ali's incredible career. 

Muhammad Ali poses with gloves in this undated photograph
Reuters
Ali fights Henry Cooper at Wembley Stadium in London on 18 June 1963
Reuters
Ali beat Henry Cooper at Wembley Stadium in June 1963
Muhammad Ali (R) (formerly Cassius Clay), is seen here with his trainer Angelo Dundee ahead of his fight with Ernie Terrell at the Astrodome, Houston, Texas, on 6 February, 1967
Reuters
Ali with his trainer Angelo Dundee ahead of his fight with Ernie Terrell in Texas in February 1967
George Foreman vs Muhammad Ali in Kinshasa, Zaire, October 30th 1974
AFP/Getty
George Foreman and Ali fought in the 'Rumble in the Jungle' in Zaire in October 1974

Freeman: 'His name and story will live on'

Australian sporting great tweets...

The greatest 'in many different ways'

World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury tweets...

Ali was 'an inspiration to mankind'

Current middleweight champion tweets...

Mayweather: 'There will never be another Muhammad Ali'

Former professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr has been paying tribute to Ali on Fox News in the US.

He says:

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.

'Meeting Ali was an honour'

Kellie Maloney has also been talking on BBC Breakfast. 

She said Ali "took boxing from the back pages", adding: "To meet the man was such an honour."

He was a man that in the ring could be brutal... but outside the ring, he had principles and stood by them.

'The all-time greatest has left us'

Argentinian boxer Marcos Maidana, a two-weight former world champion, tweets...

David Cameron: Ali was 'a champion of civil rights'

UK prime minister tweets...

Ali in words

Ali changed his name from Cassius Clay in 1964 and would go on to say: "Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn't choose it and I don't want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name - it means beloved of God, and I insist people use it when people speak to me and of me."

Ringo's tribute

The most famous band in the world met the most famous boxer in 1964 and Beatles drummer Ringo Starr paid his tribute today.

The Beatles and the then Cassius Clay in 1964
Getty Images
View more on twitter

'Shook up the world'

Current promoter Eddie Hearn, who looks after current world champion Anthony Joshua, said: "Waking to the sad news that 'The Greatest' has passed. Rest in peace Muhammad Ali you shook up the World." 

Ali interviews

We have a comprehensive range of Ali material on the BBC Sport website for you, including some of his famous interviews.

Click here

'Words can't describe' feelings about Ali

Current heavyweight champion tweets...

'He was the voice for us'

Five-division former world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr says: "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." 

Ali in words

Let's look back at some of the legendary quotes from the great man. This is one of the most often quoted, before his famous fight with George Foreman in 1974.

"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee - his hands can't hit what his eyes can't see."

Ali against Foreman
AFP
Ali (right) during his victory against Foreman in 1974

'People were in awe of him'

BBC Radio 5 Live

Promoter Kellie Maloney tells BBC Radio 5 Live: "If you asked my daughters who the favourite sportsman in the world is, they'd say Muhammad Ali. He didn't just win battles in the ring, he won battles outside of the ring.

"He could hold a room. Even when he wasn't well, people were in awe of him." 

Ali was 'a legend who transcended sport'

Former world champion and promoter tweets...

Ali's boxing career

  • Won Olympic light-heavyweight gold in 1960
  • Turned professional that year and was world heavyweight champion from 1964 to 1967, 1974 to 1978 and 1978 to 1979
  • Had 61 professional bouts, winning 56 (37 knockouts, 19 decisions), and losing five (4 decisions, 1 retirement) 

'Mankind benefited from his humanity'

Manny Pacquiao, the former world champion and current politician, said in a statement: "We lost a giant today. Boxing benefited from Muhammad Ali's many talents but not nearly as much as mankind benefited from his humanity."

McGuigan: 'He inspired millions of people'

Barry McGuigan, former world featherweight champion, told BBC Breakfast he felt "sadness, because of how great a human being he was and what he's done for boxing". 

He was just the greatest sportsman that has ever been and we are very lucky that he happened to be involved in our sport. He was a very special man.

Barry McGuigan

He described Ali as an "amazing humanitarian" and "hugely talented man" who was also incredibly humble and "brilliantly charismatic". 

McGuigan added: "He inspired millions of people". 

'Inspiration, mentor, friend'

Former world heavyweight champion tweets...