Muhammad Ali’s presence will be missed: Ranbir Kapoor

Mumbai, June 5 (IANS) Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor paid respect to late renowned boxer Muhammad Ali, saying the presence of the “greatest” boxing icon will be missed.

“He’s the greatest of all time and I hope his soul rests in peace. He has given a lot of people in this world motivation, inspiration and also for whatever he has done for the African (African American) community, I think his presence would be missed,” Ranbir said on the sidelines of the Celebrity Classico 2016, a charity football match between cricketers and Bollywood actors.

Actor Abhishek Bachchan, whose charity organisation organised the football match here, said: “We held a minute’s silence in the locker room. Muhammad Ali has been a hero of mine.”

“He was the first ever sportsperson that I was told about and taught about by my father (Amitabh Bachchan) and I was crushed to hear that he had lost his battle with Parkinson’s and respiratory disease.”

“He has been an idol not just for me, but for the whole world and all of us were very disappointed and we played this match in his honour.”

Muhammad Ali passed away on Friday in the US at the age of 74. He was hospitalised for a respiratory problem on Thursday.

Considered one of the world’s greatest sporting personalities, Muhammad Ali was a three-time World Heavyweight champion in boxing as well an Olympic gold medal winner. He was also an activist for numerous humanitarian causes.

The film industry has also paid its tribute to Muhammad Ali with Lata Mangeshkar, Amitabh Bachchan among others conveying their grief on Twitter.

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