A myriad of people gathered at the National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania yesterday (September 13) to witness boxing legend Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali receive a Liberty Medal.
While Ali’s exploits inside the ring saw him become a three-time heavyweight champion of the world, it was his actions outside of the squared circle that led to the 70-year-old being given the prestigious honour.
The Liberty Award is annually given to an individual who displays courage and conviction while striving to secure liberty for people worldwide and Ali, nicknamed ‘The Greatest’, was a staunch activist and civil rights campaigner.
“It is especially humbling for Muhammad, who has said on many occasions, ‘All I did was to stand up for what I believe,’” said Ali’s wife Lonnie Ali.
An Olympic gold medallist, Ali was infamously stripped of his world title in 1967 after he refused to serve in the Vietnam War due to his religious beliefs and was banned from boxing until 1970.
Since retiring from boxing in 1981 Ali has travelled extensively.