Mumbail: Popular celebrities from Bollywood, the small screen and the music fraternity like Lata Mangeshkar, Amitabh Bachchan, A.R. Rahman, Rishi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar have mourned the death of legendary former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali by calling him “legendary” and the “greatest” person.
Ali, who was hospitalised for a respiratory problem on Thursday, died on Friday at the age of 74.
One of the greatest boxers in the history of the sport, Ali retired in 1981 and soon found signs of sluggishness and neurological damage. He thereafter received treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
Ali, known as Cassius Clay before he converted to Islam, started training for boxing at the age of 12.
He won the World heavyweight championship at the age of 22 in 1964. He won the title again in 1974 and 1978.
While Lata Mangeshkar got nostalgic and shared an old photograph of herself with Ali, Amitabh Bachchan revealed that late filmmaker Prakash Mehra once wished to make a film in which he wanted to showcase Ali and the “Piku” star.
Apart from them, many other celebrities took to various platforms to pay tribute to Ali.
Here is what the stars have to say:
Lata Mangeshkar: A legend no more – Muhammed Ali…Had the privilege of meeting him on a flight to London with my niece, Rachana. She is a big fan and insisted on this picture.
Amitabh Bachchan: Mohammed Ali the greatest ever! A gentleman and learned mind! He not just fought in the ring but outside it as well! And won! With the ‘greatest’ Muhammed Ali at his home in Los Angeles. Prakash Mehra had wished to make film with him and me.
Rishi Kapoor: RIP. Muhammad Ali. Was at a function with him in Bahrain think early 1980s. He was unwell and he called me “pretty boy”.
Anil Kapoor: His personality was as exemplary as his sportsmanship…his spirit will always dare us to dream bigger and soar higher! RIP Muhammad Ali.
Farhan Akhtar: Muhammad Ali Never before-Never again. RIP Champ.
John Abraham: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” sad sad sad day Muhammad Ali.
Ayushmann Khurrana: “I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.” – RIP Muhammad Ali.
Abhishek Bachchan: Crushed! Muhammad Ali was the first sportsman I was told about by Amitabh Bachchan. He was inspirational and an idol.
Mahesh Bhatt: It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that will wear you out; it’s the pebble in the shoe. Muhammad Ali.
Shahid Kapoor: RIP Ali. You taught us to fight in the face of adversity. Legend.
Sonu Nigam: A life lead with greatness… Good bye Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., aka Mohammed Ali.
Ssharad Malhotraa: I am shocked to know of his sudden demise. He was a living legend. We have grown up hearing his success story.
Shashank Vyas: He was a living legend. Not everyone can make it as big as he made. He was an institution in himself and his life story is quite inspiring on never giving up.
Ravi Dubey: We all have heard about him. His sudden death is like a shock. He will be forever remembered as he has left mark on all generations.