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Lebron, Clinton, Sanders, Trump, Jackson Praise Muhammad Ali

As previously reported on BoxingScene.com, former three-time heavyweight world champion Muhammad Ali died from septic shock and went peacefully, a spokesman for the family said.

He'd been in hospital in Arizona for a few days, with his family gathered around. They had a full day to say their final goodbyes to the 74 year-old.

Ali's family have this morning announced that his funeral will take place in his Kentucky hometown late next week.

 If there's one thing the candidates vying for the presidency agree on, it's that Muhammed Ali was The Greatest. Campaigning in California ahead of the state's critical primary, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton remembered Ali with a subtle jab against the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

Clinton said the U.S. is a country "where people can break down barriers, where they can worship their own God, where they can choose their own name."

Trump took to Twitter to remember the boxing great, saying Ali is "a truly great champion and a wonderful guy. He will be missed by all!"

Democrat Bernie Sanders also commemorated Ali with a jab at Trump: "He is, you know, what a hero, what a great man, and I say to all the people who are intimidated, and I've been all over the country and talk to Muslim people who say, 'You know, Bernie, our kids are now afraid.' I say to those people, one of the great American heroes in modern history was the great Muhammad Ali, a very proud Muslim. And don't tell us how much you love Muhammad Ali, and yet you're going to be prejudiced against Muslims in the country."

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NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West got to know Ali long before he was a heavyweight champion. West played for USA Basketball in the 1960 Olympics in Rome, when Ali was a young, up-and-coming boxer named Cassius Clay.

"I had heard of him a little bit, this kind of teenage sensation," West said. "Once you got there, my goodness, you could hear him coming from a mile away. A big smile, big personality, even then before he became a world champion. He was a magnificent person."

West saw Ali fight professionally several times and said: "I loved that guy. I really did.

"Being around him, you almost felt like a God-like presence," West said. "You really did. He had it. He had it."

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James says he watched a replay of the "Thrilla in Manila" between Ali and Joe Frazier after learning of Ali's death. James lauded Ali for taking a stand on social issues and said he tries to follow in those footsteps by using his platform to speak for what he believes in.

"When an icon like Muhammad Ali passes away, it's very emotional," James said a day before the Cavs play Game 2 of the NBA Finals against Golden State. "It's also gratifying to know that a guy, one man, would sacrifice so much in his individual life knowing that it would better the next generation of men and women after him.

"Today I can go to China and all over the world and people know my name and know my face. I give all credit to Muhammad Ali because he was the first icon. He is the GOAT. He's the greatest of all time and it has zero to do with his accomplishments inside the ring."

Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a longtime friend of Ali, says the boxer's impact extended far beyond the ring. He called the boxer a "social transformer" who used his fame to attack injustice during the civil rights struggle.

"From Texas across, from Florida up to Maryland, we couldn't use a single public toilet," Jackson said. "We couldn't use the libraries or the theaters or sit in the public parks. Ali identified with that struggle, used his person and his fame to illuminate that state of moral darkness in our country."

Jackson said he believed that decades later Ali reveled in being celebrated by those who once rejected him for his outspoken activism.

"That he had come full circle from being reviled to being revered, from being dismissed to being embraced," Jackson said. "I think he found a certain joy in that."

Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says one of the many ways that he'll fondly remember Ali is for how he liked to torment his opponents before fights.

"He would go to the training camp of his opponents and talk to them and torture them," Abdul-Jabbar told the AP. "I thought that was hilarious. Sonny Liston, he could have fried an egg on his head when he did stuff like that. I totally enjoyed that. He was kind of like acting up for all the rest of us ... kind of like our folk hero."

Abdul-Jabbar says he and Ali spoke many times about their shared Islamic faith, and how difficult it was at times to take unpopular stances. The NBA's all-time leading scorer says Ali had "incredible physical gifts" and that it was difficult and frustrating to watch Parkinson's disease affect the three-time heavyweight champion as much as it did in the final years of his life.

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User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by -PBP- on 06-05-2016

What did Ja Rule have to say about Ali?

Comment by CmdrSoCal on 06-05-2016

Establishment trash praising establishment trash.

Comment by Progrssive_Jedi on 06-05-2016

[QUOTE=Squ□redCircle34;16765642]Lmfao this man gets it. I always get a nice chuckle watching the sheep's herd around at a politicians speeches. Some of those same folks probably graduated out of some of the best schools in the country and very successfu,…

Comment by Squ□redCircle34 on 06-05-2016

[QUOTE=lopetego;16764858]Yeah, if boxers dominate the art of fist fighting, politicians dominate the art of lying and faking A politician can have a dinner with you to discuss some matter, treat you like his bestest friend, give you gifts etc. send…

Comment by Weltschmerz on 06-05-2016

[QUOTE=lopetego;16764821]None of those politicians give a flying **** about Ali. I doubt Hillary even knows who Ali was they're nothing but opportunistic twats pretending to care when they don't, just to garner the public's sympathies. They're politicians after all, aka…

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