One of the world's top teenage boxers who had been compared to Muhammad Ali has died in a motorway crash.

Mohammed Hashim died after his BMW collided with a central reservation barrier on the M4 in the early hours on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old was aspiring to be a pro-fighter and had even drawn comparisons with the great Muhammad Ali - and not just because of his name.

Mohammed, from Cardiff, Wales, had been ranked as high as second in the world for his age at the sport and had won national titles.

Police were called to the collision between junctions 14 and 15 near Membury Services, Wiltshire at around 1.30am.

Mohammed Hashim died following the car crash
Mohammed Hashim died following the car crash

An unnamed female passenger, 19, was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

Mohammed's family paid tribute to him yesterday, describing him as "generous and thoughtful".

They said: "Mohammed was an inspirational individual with good morals and ethics; he was a giver, a doer and never liked receiving.

"He was the most generous and thoughtful person anyone could meet.

"Mohammed's views in life was: be kind to everyone, even the unkind ones because paying bad with bad does not equal to good.

"Mohammed had the most electrifying smile in the world, he could light up any room he entered.

"At 16, he had already accomplished a lot in his life - he became a national champion in his field of boxing and made both his family and nation proud.

"At one point in his career Mohammed was ranked second in the world for his age and was known for fighting in a similar style to the legend and his namesake Ali.

The rising-star was likened to Mohammed Ali
The rising-star was likened to Mohammed Ali

"Mohammed was an outstanding young individual with great prospects and was always full of energy.

"It's sad to see his life cut so short; he will be sadly missed and rest assured forever in our hearts."

Carl Stephens, head coach at Llanedeyrn ABC boxing gym, also praised Mohammed, who he first taught as a ten-year-old.

He said: "Mo was our number one boxer who represented us 36 times and won 31 of those matches.

"He represented Wales and also won the Welsh Schoolboy and Welsh National Association of Boys and Girls' Clubs, as well as the British Championship.

"He had recently been training with accomplished professionals such as Andrew Selby and Jay Harris, who had recently boxed for world titles.

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"Mo was just a young man compared to these seasoned boxers but they could not believe the ability he had with his limited experience.

"There were a lot of well placed people on the boxing circuit who thought Little Mo could have gone right to the top.

"Mo was like second son to me; he was a likeable, bubbly, smiling young man who everyone loved.

"It is a tragedy for his family, friends and all the boxing world that such a talent has been lost at such a young age.

"The boys at the gym will carry on in your memory and do their best to box in your shadow.

"Little Mo - simply the best."