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A photograph of Ali and Mandela together sat next to the former president’s desk at his foundation, Hatang said, and Mandela’s favourite book at the office in his later years was an autographed copy of the Ali biography Greatest of All Time. The statement included a comment Mandela made at an event in Washington DC in 1990: “There is one regret I have had throughout my life: that I never became the boxing heavyweight champion of the world.”

Muhammad Ali – This is a scene from a party after Clay beat Sonny Liston for the heavyweight title. Such is the power of his celebrity, the assembled crowd are jostling around him simply to watch him eat. The proximity of Malcolm X to Clay serves as a neat metaphor for the closeness of their relationship at that time. Photograph: Bob Gomel/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

Muhammad Ali 1974 Sportsman of the Year Sports Illustrated cover | SI.com covers #SportsIllustrated #SICovers #SportsmanOfTheYear

Denzel Washington and Muhammad Ali

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