The Greatest: The harrowing effects of more than three decades fighting Parkinson’s can be seen in extraordinary images of Ali published today for the first time
Muhammad Ali raises his fists for the final time in haunting photographs from The Greatest’s last ever shoot.
The harrowing effects of more than three decades fighting Parkinson’s can be seen in the extraordinary images published today by the Daily Mail for the first time.
But so too is the unmistakeable hint of a smile.
British photographer Zenon Texeira was invited into Ali’s home in Phoenix, Arizona, at the end of March with the blessing of the former world champion’s family.
Ali passed away on Saturday aged 74 after a 32-year battle with the neurodegenerative disease.
Haunting: The former world champion boxer’s gaze remained unmistakable despite his body ailing in the weeks leading up to his passing
Iconic: Ali passed away on Saturday aged 74 after a 30 year battle with Parkinson’s disease, thought to have been caused by his boxing
Portrait: British photographer Zenon Texeira was invited into Ali’s home in Phoenix, Arizona, at the end of March with the blessing of the former world champion’s family
Float like a butterfly: Ali raises his fists for the final time, his eyes hidden behind a dark pair of sunglasses – the hint of a smile creeping from his lips
Stare: Ali could be arrogant, contemptuous and merciless, then he would turn a wicked phrase or smile a roguish smile – and the world loved him for it
Wit: Ali died in Scottsdale close to the home he moved to when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 34 years ago. The condition had virtually silenced the voice that delighted the world with pronouncements such as ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’
Debilitating: In recent years the former heavyweight champion of the world was unable to speak and instead communicated through ‘winks and smiles’, according to his family
Brutal battle: Doctors say Ali’s Parkinson’s was likely caused by the thousands of punches he took during a career that saw him win 56 of his 61 bouts
Inspiration: President Obama said he kept a pair of Ali’s gloves in his study at the White House, under a photograph of the young champion ‘roaring like a lion over fallen Sonny Liston’
Champion: Ali will be remembered for his stunning victories over the likes of Sonny Liston, George Foreman in the famous ‘Rumble in the Jungle’, Joe Frazier in the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ and his gold medal victory at the 1960 Olympics in Rome
Charisma: He was fast of fist and foot — lip, too — a heavyweight champion who promised to shock the world and did. He floated. He stung. Mostly he thrilled, even after the punches had taken their toll and his voice barely rose above a whisper
Dominance: Ali fought in three different decades, finished with a record of 56-5 with 37 knockouts and was the first man to win heavyweight titles three times