Tributes are pouring in for legendary boxer Muhammad Ali who has died aged 74. The three-time heavyweight champion, who was widely regarded as the greatest of all time, died on Friday evening (June 3rd) a day after being hospitalised for respiratory problems.

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Figures from the boxing world led the tributes to Ali, noting how he transcended the sport and became an inspiration to generations of athletes. George Foreman, who famously fought Ali in The Rumble in the Jungle in 1974, tweeted: ‘Ali, Frazier & Foreman we were 1 guy a part of me slipped away "the greatest piece" Muhammad Ali.’

Oscar De La Hoya wrote: ‘RIP @muhammadali, a legend who transcended sport and was a true champion for all. #thegreatest.’ Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson added: ‘God came for his champion. So long great [email protected]’.

Speaking to Fox News, floyd mayweather Jr remembered how Ali had inspired the black community. “The black community all around the world, black people all around the world, needed him,” he said. “He was the voice for us. He’s the voice for me to be where I’m at today. I just want to thank Muhammad Ali and his family for being such strong people. You will always be missed.”

The entertainment industry has also been remembering Ali, whose cultural impact extended far beyond the world of sport. ‘God bless Muhammad Ali peace and love to all his family,’ Beatle Ringo Starr tweeted.

‘What is going on??!! We are losing all of our National Treasures. Our Pillars of Humanity. He was the Greatest!,’ Madonna shared on Instagram. Rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combes posted a picture of himself with Ali on Instagram and wrote: ‘This pic means so much to me! ‘

‘The love he showed me he didn't have too. He always was excited to see me. He even came to see me on Broadway in A Raisin In The Sun. He sat thru a 3 hr play to see me. IT bugged me out. It humbled me. Thank you for the love. I MISS YOU. #RIPALI’.

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Hours before his death Ali’s daughter, boxer Lalia Ali shared a throwback picture of her daughter Sydney with her father on Facebook and wrote: ‘I love this photo of my father and my daughter Sydney when she was a baby! Thanks for all the love and well wishes. I feel your love and appreciate it!!’

Ali had once said he’d like to be remembered as ‘a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous, and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked above him.’

‘Who stood up for his beliefs no matter what. As a man who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.’