Muhammad Ali, ‘the Greatest’, dies aged 74

Muhammad Ali, the three-time heavyweight champion who proclaimed himself “The Greatest”, defied the US government over the Vietnam war, and later became one of the most well-known – and loved – sportsmen in history has died, his family spokesperson has said. He was 74.

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Ali was admitted to hospital on Thursday with a respiratory problem – a move that was described at the time as “a precaution”. However, reports emerged 24 hours later which said he had been placed on a life support machine and his family “feared the worst”.

He died late on Friday at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, a family spokesperson said.