(AP) – Muhammad Ali will be on the June 13 cover of Sports Illustrated for the 40th time in a photo shot by Neil Leifer while Ali trained in Miami Beach in 1970. “Muhammad Ali was a singular force of athletics, humanitarianism and social equality unlike anyone in our history,” says group editor Paul Fichtenbaum.
President Barack Obama says Muhammad Ali “shook up the world and the world is better for it.”
Obama says he keeps a pair of Ali’s gloves on display in his private study, just off the Oval Office and under the famous photograph of the young champion “roaring like a lion over fallen Sonny Liston.”
Obama says in a statement that Ali “fought for what was right,” stood with Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela “when it was hard” and “spoke out when others wouldn’t.”
Obama says even as Ali’s physical powers were in decline, the boxing great “became an even more powerful force for peace and reconciliation around the world.”
The president says Parkinson’s disease may have “ravaged” Ali’s body, but it “couldn’t take the spark from his eyes.”
Spectators at the English Derby, one of the biggest events in British horse racing, have honored Muhammad Ali with a minute’s applause following the boxing great’s death.
The applause took place before racing began Saturday, soon after Queen Elizabeth II arrived at Epsom racecourse.