Narendra Modi also said Muhammad Ali (above) demonstrated the power of human spirit & determination © Getty Images
Narendra Modi also said Muhammad Ali (above) demonstrated the power of human spirit & determination © Getty Images

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today joined the sporting world in mourning the death of boxing great Muhammad Ali, who passed away in the United States after a long battle with the Parkinson’s disease. “RIP Muhammad Ali. You were an exemplary sportsperson & source of inspiration who demonstrated the power of human spirit & determination,” Modi, who is in Afghanistan, wrote on his twitter page. The funeral arrangements for Ali would be announced later today. A three-time world heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold-medallist, Ali was widely revered for his active role in fighting for civil rights.

Ali had been hospitalised multiple times in recent years. He spent time in hospital in 2014 after suffering a mild case of pneumonia and again in 2015 for a urinary tract infection. Earlier, lots of celebrities payed tributes to Ali. From established stars like Vijender Singh and M C Mary Kom to the fast-rising Shiva Thapa, the Indian boxing fraternity was united in grief as it mourned the demise of the legendary Muhammad Ali, who passed away in the US after a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

The three-time world heavyweight champion was put on a life support system on Thursday in a Phoenix hospital where he breathed his last at the age of 74. “Muhammad Ali was a legend and a legend never dies. All that he did for the sport will never be forgotten. In fact his work even outside the ring has immortalised him. He did so much for so many,” Vijender told PTI, reacting to Ali’s death. Born as Cassius Clay on January 17, 1942 before converting to Islam, Ali is survived by his nine children, including daughter Laila, who like her father became a world champion boxer; and his fourth wife, Lonnie.