Muhammad Ali is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all-time, but one of the most notable sports icons. Ali put forth an incredible career in the squared circle that saw him have many memorable fights and moments still held in boxing lure. He was well ahead of his time with his banter and confidence that made him the star attraction in the sport and around the globe. However, his life after his career wasn’t luxury as he struggled to work through daily routines as his battle with Parkison’s forever changed the course of his life.
Muhammad Ali’s legendary boxing career
Muhammad Ali’s career in the ring that saw him quickly rise to prominence behind the impressive start that landed him his first title fight at age 22 against Sonny Liston.
Ali skyrocketed from that point on becoming one of the most polarizing sports figures during his time. Although he had three years of his career lost due to refusing to be drafted into the military that cost him his boxing license, he returned to put forth many more entertaining fights. That included his trilogy of bouts against Joe Frazier and “The Rumble in the Jungle” against George Foreman.
Ali wasn’t the same fighter at the end of his career dropping three out of his last four fights, but that hasn’t overshadowed the massive impact in the sports world that extended beyond the realm of boxing. During the prime of his career, he was the complete package boxer in the ring that was lightning quick that his trash-talking was seemingly always backed up by his success. However, his life after his career was a downhill battle with his health.
Muhammad Ali’s tragic death
Near the tail end of his boxing career, there was some noticeable drop off in Muhammad Ali’s physical ability in the ring.
Ali began showing signs of delayed reactions, some stuttering, and other symptoms of vocal issues. It wasn’t until 1984, nearly three years after his last professional fight, that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In the first few years, he was still active as he was a guest referee for a match in WrestleMania I.
As the years passed, Ali became less physically able to operate independently and unable to talk at length. It didn’t stop him from helping negotiate the release of American hostages in 1990. He helped lead a campaign for the American government to help the refugees impacted by the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
His activity dwindled over the years to which his health continued to decline. That led to him coming down with a respiratory illness in June 2016, which quickly grew worse and led to his death at age 74 from septic shock.
Many believe his Parkinson’s disease came about from the many blows to the head that he took during his boxing career. That wasn’t nailed down as the reason his health declined in that nature as health experts argued that it could have been due to genetics or the environment. Nonetheless, Ali’s life came to a disappointing end after years of health issues.
Muhammad Ali’s legacy
Although Muhammad Ali wasn’t anywhere near the sports icon that he was during his career or shortly after it, his legacy has remembered the same.
Ali is not only one of the greatest sports icons but also a significant proponent of social justice. He was much more than just a boxer as he used his platform to bring attention to many pressing issues during his time. Ali continues to bring forth an enormous amount of inspiration for the many in sports and well outside of that realm.
Muhammad Ali was nothing short than a legendary sports figure that forever changed the world of sports.