When Muhammad Ali passed away on June 3, 2016, it sent ripples felt across the entire community of combat sports from boxing to MMA to pro wrestling. Following his death, a who’s who of pugilists, and fighters in general, took to Twitter and Instagram to pay respects to the most famous boxer to ever step foot in the ring.
Of those remembering the loquacious Louisville slugger, only George Foreman actually traded blows with the champ. Others, like Amir Khan, Oscar De La Hoya, Bret Hart and Ric Flair had the opportunity to meet Ali outside the ring, where he almost always flashed his impish charm.
BOXING PAYS TRIBUTE
Remember when Muhammad Ali faced Superman? They fought each other and then they saved the world together. This is just a comic but in a way Muhammad Ali always tried to save us from ourselves by teaching us lessons of peace, humanity and faith. To respect each other and to always serve one another. He was superman himself. Photo Credit: @dccomics
Today my heart goes out to a pioneer, a true legend, and a hero by all means! Not a day went by entering the gym that I didn't think of you. Your charisma, your charm and above all, your class are all of the elements that will be greatly missed by myself and the world. You are someone that inspired me greatly throughout my boxing journey and words cannot express how great you were as a person! Thank you for everything you've done for Black America, in the the world of sports & entertainment and for the legacy you leave behind! My sincerest condolences to the Ali family!
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) June 5, 2016
It was the biggest honor to meet Muhammad Ali last year at his house, will never forget the Greatest of All Time RIP #Ali
— Gennady Golovkin (@GGGBoxing) June 4, 2016
Rip the greatest of all times in many different ways. 🙏🙏🙏🙏
— #Gypsyking (@Tyson_Fury) June 4, 2016
Hana Ali & the whole family, my heart goes out you. Muhammad Ali has been a fine man. That will never die. pic.twitter.com/3L5HK0zPCb
— George Foreman (@GeorgeForeman) June 4, 2016
— Evander Holyfield (@holyfield) June 4, 2016
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) June 4, 2016
This one hurts. I have so much to say, but don't know how to say it…but for now, you will be missed & I appreciate you so much. #Ali
— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) June 4, 2016
— Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) June 4, 2016
— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) June 4, 2016
MMA/UFC PAYS TRIBUTE
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) June 4, 2016
— Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) June 4, 2016
RIP Muhammad Ali. You were an inspiration.
— Paige VanZant (@PaigeVanzantUFC) June 4, 2016
— Gina Carano (@ginacarano) June 4, 2016
— Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) June 4, 2016
WWE PAYS TRIBUTE
As I've grown older, I've accepted losing many friends and heroes in my lifetime. I've never felt the profound loss and heartache of losing my all-time greatest hero. I only met him one time, a few months after suffering my debilitating stroke. His kindness, compassion and overall love of life inspired me so much then that words can't describe it. As a young man, his impact on my life and all the things he stood up for and against, his fights from Liston to Chuvalo to Frazier, challenged and inspired me. Many of his life struggles served to guide me later on in my life. He was such a humble man in person, but what I admired most was his kid-like humour. He was the most patient and giving superstar I ever saw. He was always happy to take one more photo or sign one more autograph, and he never forgot who he was, where he came from or what he stood for. He was no mere athlete, he was one of the greatest men God ever placed on earth and I will never forget all that he gave. He's with God right now.
I was in the air last night flying from Atlanta to London when I got the text from a close friend that within' a few hours we were going to lose Muhammad. Ali inspired myself and generations around the world to be hungry to achieve, work as hard as you possibly can, to be a great as you possibly can be and make sure that not a day goes by where you don't do your absolute best to make the world smile and feel good. Feel inspired. And feel that no matter how hard times may be, there's always hope for tomorrow. From hanging out with you in New Zealand as this little punk kid, to years later as a WWE rookie when you whispered to me "Can you rumble?" to a few years later when you bestowed upon me "The People's Champ" moniker. I will always be grateful for the impact you've had on me. Thank you and I'll miss you. Much love and strength to the Ali family. Rest in love and light Champ. You'll always be the Greatest of All Time. And pretty. 😉👊🏾
— John Cena (@JohnCena) June 4, 2016
Muhammad Ali was truly the greatest of all time. Magic on the mic and incredible in the ring. Larger than life. A true hero.
— Steve Austin (@steveaustinBSR) June 4, 2016
— Triple H (@TripleH) June 4, 2016
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) June 4, 2016
"It's hard to be humble when you're as great as I am." – Muhammad Ali
An icon lost. Your legend will live on! pic.twitter.com/hVUx0LDOiE
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) June 4, 2016