Late Muhammad Ali "world champion for equality, peace": UN

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The late Muhammad Ali was more than a legendary boxer, he was a world champion for equality and peace, UN Secretary-General has said.

The American heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medallist passed away late on Friday at the age of 74, according to media reports.

Ban Ki-moon expressed deep sadness over the passing of the celebrated athlete and extended his condolences to the Ali family and his many millions of fans globally.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

Muhammad Ali was widely known as the "Greatest of All Time."

In a statement released on Saturday, the UN chief said the boxing champion fought for a better world and used his platform to help lift up humanity.

And he did so, said Ban Ki-moon, "with an incomparable combination of principle, charm, wit and grace."

As a UN Messenger of Peace, Muhammad Ali travelled the world to support children and others caught up in conflict, and to promote reconciliation between people and nations.

Before taking on this role, he came to the United Nations in the 1970s to campaign against apartheid and racial injustice.

The Secretary-General said he was honoured to join Mr Ali as a flag bearer at the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.

Recalling Mr Ali's strength, humour and ability to bring people together, Mr Ban described him as one of the past century's "great humanitarians and advocates for understanding and peace."

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 58”


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