Former Two-Weight World Champion David Haye launched a campaign in February for his icon, Ali, to be granted an Honorary Knighthood.
Haye said, “This week we lost a Legend, a true Global Icon – phrases I don’t use lightly. Muhammad Ali transcended the world of boxing, inspiring so many, including me, to believe ‘Impossible is Nothing’.
“Like millions of others around the world, Muhammad Ali is a hero of mine and inspiring me to box. Added to this his humanitarian work over many years which had a huge impact across the world, I couldn’t think of a more fitting person to be granted an Honorary Knighthood. The current laws do not allow for a posthumous Knighthood, but Ali throughout his career challenged what was deemed possible so it’s quite fitting that current rules should be reviewed for ‘The Greatest of all time’”
The campaign which launched in February received support from Boris Johnson, Bob Geldof, comedian John Bishop and Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan as well as sports personalities including; Denise Lewis, Colin Jackson, Anthony Joshua, Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn. Downing Street have officially acknowledged the campaign.
Haye continued, ‘Although Muhammad was not well enough to travel to the UK as planned in earlier this year, I met with his wife Lonnie who said what an honour the award, from a country he so loved, would mean to him. With such huge public demand and support from his family I truly hope we can make this happen,’
There have been recent calls to review the process of awarding Knighthoods with one to be granted posthumously to football legend Bobby Moore which would require secondary legislation and also the removal of the late Jimmy Saville’s.
Honorary Knighthoods are to recognise non-British citizens who have made major contributions to this country and its well-being and currently there is no non-British option currently being considered.
Haye added, “I believe Muhammed Ali is the perfect recipient, whilst it is a huge shame this did not happen when he was alive to award it posthumously in honour of the incredible legacy he leaves would be perfectly fitting”
Please sign up to petition to award Muhammad Ali with an Honorary Knighthood in the UK here