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Thursday 5 October 2023 Dublin: 14°C
"He was and always will be the greatest" - The world reacts to the death of a legend
Tributes have poured in for the deceased Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali death PA Wire / Press Association Images Muhammad Ali unveiling the plaque on Turnpike Road in Ennis, Co Clare to his ancestors after he was honoured as the first Freeman of his ancestral home in Ireland. PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

THERE HAS BEEN an outpouring of grief, admiration and respect for legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, who passed away last night at the age 0f 74.

Sportspeople, former opponents, politicians from both sides of the political divide, activists pundits and others have all paid their respect to the man who called himself “The Greatest” and lived up to the title throughout his life.

The boxers

Ali’s former opponent George Foreman – whom he fought in the iconic Rumble in the Jungle fight for the title in 1974 – called the former champion “the greatest piece” of him and “one of the greatest human beings I’ve met”.

Mike Tyson called Ali “the great one” and paid his respects to the champ.

Floyd Mayweather, a world champion in boxing who retired last year undefeated, paid a strong tribute to Ali on his Instagram page – thanking him for all he had done for the lives of black people in America.

“Today my heart goes out to a pioneer, a true legend, and a hero by all means,” said Mayweather.

 Your charisma, your charm and above all, your class are all of the elements that will be greatly missed by myself and the world.
You are someone that inspired me greatly throughout my boxing journey and words cannot express how great you were as a person!
Thank you for everything you’ve done for Black America, in the the world of sports & entertainment and for the legacy you leave behind!

Retired Irish boxer Barry McGuigan said that the world had lost “the greatest sportsman that ever lived”.

The politicians

Irish president Michael D Higgins led the political tributes in Ireland to Ali.

“The passing of Muhammad Ali will have been heard with the greatest sadness by Irish people of all generations,” he said.

Many will remember the wit, grace and beauty he brought to boxing and some will recall his visits to Ireland.
All over the world people also flocked to hear him offer his view on the achievement of democracy and particularly equal rights when they were so strikingly missing in some of the richest countries of the world.
He will be missed not only by his close friends and family but by those who heard him and were influenced by him, all over the world.

PA-4105198 AP / Press Association Images Muhammad Ali has a lighthearted sparring match with American film director John Huston, in Dublin, Ireland, on July 18, 1972. AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Enda Kenny tweeted a message about Ali, saying that he inspired numerous generations.

Meanwhile, US Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has tweeted a message saying that Ali would be “missed by all”.

On the other side of the divide, former US president Bill Clinton issued a statement commending the growth from the “brash self-confidence of youth” to a man of strong religious and political convictions.

Along the way we saw him courageous in the ring, inspiring to the young, compassionate to those in need, and strong and good-humoured in bearing the burden of his own health challenges.

PA-4105283 AP / Press Association Images Muhammad Ali and Bill Clinton walk arm-in-arm following the opening ceremony at Olympic Stadium for the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta Friday July, 19, 1996. AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Civil-rights leader the Reverend Al Sharpton said that Ali was and always will be “the greatest”.

Ali, he was and always will be the greatest. A true champion in and out of the ring.

Read: Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has died, aged 74

Read: 34 gorgeous pictures of Muhammad Ali, The Greatest

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