On 3 June 2016, boxing legend Muhammad Ali died at the age of 74.
The former world heavyweight champion, recognised as one of the world’s greatest sporting figures, made three professional appearances at the Royal Albert Hall during his career, at a time when the world-famous venue was known as one of the city’s great boxing venues.
His first professional appearance was on 19 October 1971, when Ali boxed eight exhibition rounds. On 3 December 1974, he returned alongside his greatest rival Australian, British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight champion Joe Bugner.
On 29 May 1979, Ali made his final boxing appearance at the Hall, in Farewell to London – The Magic of Ali. Ali fought five rounds of exhibition boxing, while at the top of the bill on the professional cards was Charlie Magri’s fight with Mexican boxer Freddie Gonzales.
30 years after making his first appearance , Muhammad Ali returned to the Hall for the World Sport Awards, on 16 January 2001. The international sports awards ceremony, attended by some of the biggest names of the past, present and future in sport, saw Ali deservedly pick up the World Sportsman of the Century Award.
Muhammad Ali and Roger Moore at the World Sport Awards, held at the Royal Albert Hall, 16 January 2001