Ali family denies boxer's health is failing

2013-02-04 09:28:11 GMT2013-02-04 17:28:11(Beijing Time)

The family of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali denied a report by British newspaper The Sun claiming that the former world heavyweight champion is "very sick" and is close to death.

The Sun, a daily British tabloid, quoted Ali's estranged brother Rahman Ali as saying that his brother is "in a bad way."

"He's very sick... It could be months, it could be days. I don't know if he'll last the summer. He's in God's hands. We hope he gently passes away," Rahman was quoted as saying.

But Ali's daughter Laila disputed the report, saying her father was "totally fine."

"To all concerned, my father is the same as usual. I spoke to his wife today and she said he is totally fine and was watching the game," Laila tweeted on Monday, referring to Super Bowl XLVII.

She later tweeted a picture of Ali dressed in a t-shirt of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

A former Olympic gold medalist, Ali is recognized as one of the greatest boxers of all time as well as a cultural icon. Sports Illustrated named him Sportsman of the Century in 1999.

He was involved in some of the most iconic fights of all time, including three historic bouts with rival Joe Frazier that culminated in the "Thrilla in Manila" in 1975.

Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's syndrome in 1984. In 1996, he lit the Olympic flame in the Altanta Games.


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