Wearside boxing promoter hails 'super legend' Muhammad Ali following his death
Wearside boxing promoter Phil Jeffries has paid tribute to 'The Greatest', Muhammad Ali, following his death at the age of 74.
It was announced this morning that Ali had died at the age of 74, having been admitted to hospital with a respiratory condition earlier in the week.
The three-time world heavyweight champion transcended his sport, and had battled Parkinson's disease for 32 years.
Jeffries - the dad of Olympic bronze medalist Tony - has described Ali as a "super legend" who will never be matched in boxing.
He said: "You talk about legends, but Ali was a super legend. It's very sad to hear that he has died.
"He started the boxing revolution off. I remember watching him as a kid, and even the kids of today know about him.
"No one can come near to matching what he did for the sport.
"Everyone knows Muhammed Ali."
Ali remains significant in modern-day boxing, believes Jeffries.
He added: "There are pictures of him in my gym, and he'll never be forgotten.
"Even now, kids look up to him, just as everybody did back then.
"His off-the-cuff remarks were first-class as well.
"He brought boxing to life. He had a chin like iron.
"It's sad the way his life turned out, with his 30-year battle against Parkinson's.
"It's a very sad loss for boxing."
Ali's family’s spokesman Bob Gunnell confirmed the former boxer's death in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday evening local time.
The funeral will take place in Ali’s home town of Louisville, Kentucky.
A statement from the spokesman said the Ali family “would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and support” and asked for privacy.
Ali is survived by his fourth wife Lonnie - whom he married in 1986 - and multiple children, many of whom were reported to have flown to their father’s bedside on Thursday and Friday.