"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" was Muhammad Ali's credo in the ring—his superior speed and reflexes secured him 56 wins (including 37 knockouts) over 61 fights in his 21-year professional career. He proclaimed himself "The Greatest", and it could hardly be disputed.

 

An inspiring figure both inside and outside of the ring, he left his mark on the world. Heartfelt tributes from across the world poured in on social media as celebrities, fellow sportsmen, fans of the sport as well as world leaders mourn the loss of Muhammad Ali after news broke that the boxing champion, legend, and an inspiration to many, has passed away.

A photo posted by Muhammad Ali (@muhammadali) on

 

Madonna: "This Man. This King. This Hero. This Human! Words cannot express. He shook up the World! God Bless Him."

 

Pelé: "The sporting universe has just suffered a big loss. Muhammad Ali was my friend, my idol, my hero. We spent many moments together and always kept a good connection throughout the years. The sadness is overwhelming. I wish him peace with God. And I send love and strength to his family."

 

Lionel Richie: "You will always be my hero."

You will always be my hero ... #muhammadali Photo Credit: @alansilfen

A photo posted by lionelrichie (@lionelrichie) on

 

Kate Hudson: "Yes you did Mr Ali. You shook up the world. Sending love and light to the family."

 

Ellie Goulding: "Best boxer in the world and later, a beautiful humanitarian. Rest in peace hero."

Best boxer in the world and later, a beautiful humanitarian. Rest in Peace hero.

A photo posted by elliegoulding (@elliegoulding) on