• Then called Cassius Clay, the 21-year-old shocks the world by taking Sonny Liston's title in 1964
  • Just months earlier the young American had climbed off the canvas to beat Brit Henry Cooper after he was floored by a left hook
  • But when the former champion - stripped of his title in 1967 - took on Joe Frazier in 1971's acrimonious 'fight of the century'...
  • ...Ali's powers of recovery could not help him escape a unanimous defeat - his first as a professional fighter.
  • But Ali absorbed a second loss - to Ken Norton - and came back to avenge his Frazier defeat in 1974 against the now-deposed champion
  • Next was a crack at unbeaten - and seemingly unbeatable - new champ George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle, and Ali soaked up punishment...
  • ...before emerging from the ropes to club his exhausted opponent into a sensational eighth-round stoppage
  • Ali was 32 when he regained the heavyweight title and would go on to exorcise his Frazier ghosts completely with victory in 1975's Thrilla in Manila
  • Ali lost his titles to Leon Spinks early in 1978 but regained the WBA belt in a rematch seven months later in what was his last victory
  • Ali poses with former foes Frazier (L) and Foreman in 1989
  • And boxing's ultimate icon continues to appear in public despite a battle with Parkinson's disease
  • Ali pictured in familiar pose in 2009

Muhammad Ali at 70

Then called Cassius Clay, the 21-year-old shocks the world by taking Sonny Liston's title in 1964