Muhammad Ali and the Indian connection

Muhammad Ali dominated sports for two decades, travelling the world as a global icon. Photo: AP

Madras was one of the places he travelled to in 1980 for an exhibition match with heavyweight boxer Jimmy Ellis. The match, pictured here, was meant to "demonstrate the skills of the game as fought by top professionals". It ended in a draw.

Muhammad Ali and Jimmy Ellis with the then CM M.G. Ramachandran.

The programme's proceeds went to a boxing institute in the city.

The programme also had him taking up a bout with an aspiring young boxer.

Ali with a five-year-old boxing enthusiast in New Delhi in 1980.

He would be back to India again, 10 years later in 1990. Here, he is seen in a mosque in Kolkata.

The legendary boxer and his wife also paid a visit to the then CM M. Karunanidhi in 1990.