“It’s a sad day for life, man. I loved Muhammad Ali, he was my friend. Ali will never die. Like Martin Luther King his spirit will live on, he stood for the world.” – Don King, who promoted many of Ali’s fights, including the Rumble in the Jungle
“Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest human beings I have ever met. No doubt he was one of the best people to have lived in this day and age.” – George Foreman, Ali’s friend and rival in the Rumble in the Jungle
“Today we bow our heads at the loss of a man who did so much for America. Tomorrow we will raise our heads again remembering that his bravery, his outspokenness, and his sacrifice for the sake of his community and country lives on in the best part of each of us.
“At a time when blacks who spoke up about injustice were labelled uppity and often arrested under one pretext or another, Muhammad willingly sacrificed the best years of his career to stand tall and fight for what he believed was right. In doing so, he made all Americans, black and white, stand taller. I may be 7ft 2in but I never felt taller than when standing in his shadow.” – former basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
“There will never be another Muhammad Ali. The black community all around the world, black people all around the world, needed him. He was the voice for us. He’s the voice for me to be where I’m at today.” – Floyd Mayweather, world champion boxer across five divisions
“Everybody wanted to box because of him. He was just so amazing in every way. More than anything else it was how humble and how brilliantly charismatic he was. He was a beautiful-looking man, a beautiful-looking individual and he had so much compassion. He was the greatest sportsman there has ever been and we were very lucky that he chose boxing.” – Barry McGuigan, former world featherweight champion
“You were a champion in so many ways. You ‘fought’ well. Rest well.” – Bernice King, daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King
“We lost a giant today. Boxing benefitted from Muhammad Ali’s talents but not as much as mankind benefitted from his humanity.” – Filipino world champion across six divisions, Manny Pacquiao
“The values of hard work, conviction and compassion that Muhammad Ali developed while growing up in Louisville helped him become a global icon. As a boxer, he became The Greatest, though his most lasting victories happened outside the ring.” – Greg Fischer, mayor of Louisville, Kentucky
“Ali, he was and always will be the greatest. A true champion in and out of the ring.” – civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton
“He was the greatest fighter of all time but his boxing career is secondary to his contribution to the world. He’s the most transforming figure of my time certainly. He did more to change race relations and the views of people than even Martin Luther King.” – boxing promoter Bob Arum
“Hillary and I are saddened by the passing of Muhammad Ali. From the day he claimed the Olympic gold medal in 1960, boxing fans across the world knew they were seeing a blend of beauty and grace, speed and strength that may never be matched again.
“We watched him grow from the brash self-confidence of youth and success into a manhood full of religious and political convictions that led him to make tough choices and live with the consequences.
“Along the way we saw him courageous in the ring, inspiring to the young, compassionate to those in need, and strong and good-humoured in bearing the burden of his own health challenges.” Former US President Bill Clinton, and husband of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton
“Muhammad Ali is dead at 74! A truly great champion and a wonderful guy. He will be missed by all!” – Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump on Twitter