He overcame British heavyweight champion Henry Cooper in 1963, despite at one stage being knocked to the floor, and then knocked out Sonny Liston in 1964 to become the heavyweight champion of the world.
After putting his boxing career on hold by becoming a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war, he returned to the ring in 1970 and in 1971 fought Joe Frazier in what was known as the Fight of the Century. Although Frazier won the bout, Ali won the rematch in 1974.
Also in 1974 was the Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman. Lasting more than 14 rounds, Ali emerged victorious from the brutal match.
Retiring in 1981, Ali announced he had Parkinson’s disease in 1984, and has since devoted his life to philanthropy.
Ali sadly passed away in 2016, leaving a legacy of greatness behind.