Muhammad Ali dead at 74


Muhammad Ali (Getty)

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PHOENIX -- Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has passed away after being hospitalized with respiratory problems recently, according to multiple national media reports.

Ali, 74, was a three-time World Heavyweight Champion.

He became interested in boxing after reporting the theft of his bike to a policeman who gave boxing lessons at a local community center.

As an amateur boxer, Cassius Clay -- as he was known then -- won 100 of 108 fights, including six Kentucky Golden Gloves championships.

In February 1964, he defeated Sonny Liston for the title of World Heavyweight Champion.

In the “Rumble in the Jungle” in October 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaire, Ali defeated George Foreman to again become the World Heavyweight Champion.

Ali became the World Heavyweight Champion for the third time in September 1978 when he defeated Leon Spinks.

In 1979, Ali retired from professional boxing.

Ali revealed in 1984 that he had Parkinson’s disease.

Ali leaves behind his wife, Yolanda “Lonnie” Williams, and nine children.

CNN contributed to this report.

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