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Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dead at age 74 - media reports

U.S. boxing great Muhammad Ali poses during the Crystal Award ceremony at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland January 28, 2006. REUTERS/Andreas Meier/Files
U.S. boxing great Muhammad Ali poses during the Crystal Award ceremony at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland January 28, 2006. REUTERS/Andreas Meier/Files

By Bill Trott

REUTERS - Former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, whose record-setting boxing career, unprecedented flair for showmanship and controversial stands made him one of the best-known figures of the 20th century, died on Friday aged 74, media reports said.

The former boxer died in a Phoenix-area hospital where he spent the past two days, family spokesman Bob Gunnell told NBC News.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the reports.

Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson's syndrome, was hospitalized for a respiratory issue on Thursday.

(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Frances Kerry, Diane Craft and Paul Tait)

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