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Boxing great Muhammad Ali, with his wife, Lonnie, right, waves to friends attending a celebration for his 70th birthday at the Muhammad Ali Center on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, in Louisville, Ky.

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In this 1954 file photo, boxer Cassius Clay is shown. Long before his dazzling footwork and punching prowess made him a three-time world heavyweight boxing champion known as Muhammad Ali, a young Cassius Clay honed his skills by sparring with neighborhood friends and running alongside the bus on the way to school.

The Associated Press

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Jan. 1965. Toronto. Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) attacks a bowl of soup on arrival to attend Sports Celebrity dinner at Royal York Hotel in Toronto, January 1965.

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American Boxer Cassius Clay, also known as Muhammad Ali, stands at the edge of the boxing ring in Toronto, March 25, 1966, four days prior to his bout with Canadian George Chuvalo. Clay won the match by unanimous decision after 15 rounds.

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Muhammad Ali (L) jokes with actor Will Smith as they arrive for the premiere the new film "ALI" at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, December 12, 2001. The film of how Ali both ignited and mirrored the conflicts of his time and ours to become one of the most admired fighters in the world. Smith plays Ali in the movie.

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Cleveland Williams is spread eagled on the canvas as refree Harry Kessler sends Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) to a neutral corner during their heavyweight bout at the Astrodome in Houston, Nov. 14, 1966.

The Associated Press

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Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), right, 18-year-old from Louisville, Ky., throws a right at Tony Madigan of Australia, during the light heavyweight boxing semifinals at the Summer Olympic Games in Rome, Italy Sept. 3, 1960.

The Associated Press

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Young heavyweight fighter Cassius Clay, who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali, is seen with his trainer Angelo Dundee at City Parks Gym in New York, Feb. 8, 1962.

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Young heavyweight boxer Cassius Clay, who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali, points to a sign he wrote on a chalk board in his dressing room before his fight against Archie Moore in Los Angeles Nov. 15, 1962, predicting he'd knock Moore out in the fourth round, which he went on to do. The sign also predicts Clay will be the next champ via a knockout over Sonny Liston in eight rounds. He did it in seven rounds.

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The Beatles, from left, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison, take a fake blow from Cassius Clay, who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali, while visiting the heavyweight contender at his training camp in Miami Beach, Fla. Feb. 18, 1964

The Associated Press

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World heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, wearing the Nigerian brown and white striped Agbada costume, shouts to the crowd of youngsters who met him on his arrival in Lagos, Nigeria June 1, 1964.

The Associated Press

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Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, right, is shown with black muslim leader Malcolm X outside the Trans-Lux Newsreel Theater in New York, after viewing the screening of a film about Ali's title fight with Sonny Liston March 1, 1964.

The Associated Press

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Sonny Liston, right, lowers his head and works in close during the sixth round of heavyweight championship fight against Muhammad Ali in Miami Beach, Fla. Feb. 25, 1964.

The Associated Press

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George Chuvalo, right, turned up at Cassius Clay's (Muhammad Ali) contract signing on March 10, 1966, for his title defense in Maple Leaf Gardens, to be held March 29, 1966.

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Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali stands over fallen challenger Sonny Liston, after dropping Liston with a short hard right to the jaw in Lewiston, Maine May 25, 1965.

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World heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali shouts "Joe Bugner must go!" to Malaysian fans during a training session for his fight against Bugner in Kuala Lumpur June 15, 1975.

The Associated Press

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Trevor Berbick, left, and Muhammad Ali seem to have an equal reach as they slug it out during a heavyweight boxing match on Dec. 12, 1981 in Nassau, Bahamas.

The Associated Press

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Boxer Muhammad Ali makes a face during a press luncheon in New York, to promote the sale of tickets to Madison Square Garden, Aug. 29, 1974, where the battle against George Foreman in Zaire will be shown in October on closed circuit television.

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Sweat spray flies from the head of challenger Joe Frazier as heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali connects with a right in the ninth round of their heavyweight title fight in Manila, Philippines Oct. 1, 1975. Ali won the fight on a decision to retain the title.

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Challenger Muhammad Ali watches as defending world champion George Foreman goes down to the canvas in the eighth round of their WBA/WBC championship boximg match in Kinshasa, Zaire Oct. 30, 1974. Foreman was counted out by the referee and Ali regained the world heavyweight crown by KO in the bout dubbed 'Rumble in the Jungle.'

The Associated Press

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Muhammad Ali shouts while someone holds a poster predicting his third coming following his last workout in New Orleans, before attempting to claim the heavyweight title for a third time, against Leon Spinks, at the Superdome Sept. 14, 1978.

The Associated Press

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Former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali kisses a Liberian orphan while residents cheer Ali's arrival at an orphanage for Liberian refugees in San Pedro, Ivory Coast Aug. 20, 1997. Ali and his entourage came on a goodwill visit to donate food, wheelchairs, and medicine after receiving a letter asking for help from the mission's organizer Sister M. Sponsa Beltran.

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Sweat-bathed heavyweight champion Cassius Clay's (Muhammad Ali) fist is just a blur as he pounds a speed-bag in workout March 25, 1966.

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Undated photo of Muhammad Ali.

The Canadian Press

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