Vijender Singh also said Muhammad Ali's (above) work inside the ring was undoubtedly great but the kind of work he had done outside the ring propelled him into immortality © Getty Images
Vijender Singh also said Muhammad Ali’s (above) work inside the ring was undoubtedly great but the kind of work he had done outside the ring propelled him into immortality © Getty Images

New Delhi: Indian star pugilist Vijender Singh on Saturday paid rich tribute to legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, who passed away at the age of 74 after losing his long-standing battle against Parkinson’s disease, saying that ‘a legend never dies’ while observing that his legacy will continue to live on. “His loss is a big setback for the sporting fraternity but a legend never dies. He will always be remembered. His work inside the ring was undoubtedly great but the kind of work he had done outside the ring propelled him into immortality,” Vijender told ANI. The former three-time world heavyweight champion, who was admitted to a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, with a respiratory problem, breathed his last surrounded by his family and friends.

Ali, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the 1980s, had been hospitalised multiple times in recent years, including spending time in hospital in 2014 after suffering a mild pneumonia before being admitted again for a urinary tract infection last year. Known worldwide for his illustrious ring career, the American was equally famous for his civil right activism as well as for his profound, witty and inspiring one-liners.

“Hating people because of their colour is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which colour does the hating. It’s just plain wrong,” one of Ali’s famous political comments. Ali, who also won an Olympic gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics, took retirement from his glorious career after a defeat against Trevor Berbick in 1981.