It wasn't just what Muhammad Ali did inside the ring that defined him, it was the adversity he fought outside it. War, government, racism, poverty – he was hit by it all and never went down.
Because of it, he was a non-conformist, a heavyweight thinker, a maverick unto the last.
As the tributes continue to roll in, so too do the stories that remind us just what a larger than life character Ali was, including the reason why his 2002 star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame hangs higher than any other...
Ignoring normal protocol – you know the scene: grinning celeb bends over a pavement and has photographs putting their hands in cold cement, later to be trampled on by flocks of tourists looking for maps to star homes – the then 59-year-old Ali had other ideas, saying he did not want his name to be walked on by “people who have no respect for me”.
“I bear the name of our Beloved Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), and it is impossible that I allow people to trample over his name,” he said at the time.
So the next time you’re sightseeing down the 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard, keep an eye out for Ali’s plaque. Yet more proof that he’s cemented his place in history.
[Images: Rex, Getty]