Muhammad Ali's Daughter Says Boxing Icon Is OK

May May Ali says rumors of her father's impending death are false.

Posted: 02/03/2013 08:30 PM EST
Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali at the Liberty Medal ceremony in Philadelphia. (Photo: REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)

Muhammad Ali's daughter says her father is fine and not gravely ill as her uncle told a British tabloid.

May May Ali told the Associated Press that she talked to her father Sunday morning on the phone and he was fine. "He's fine, in fact he was talking well this morning," she told AP. "These rumors pop up every once in a while but there's nothing to them."

In an interview with the Sun,  Rahman Ali, said: “My brother can’t speak — he doesn’t recognize me. He’s 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."

Ali appeared thin and frail at the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony and was helped across the stage by his wife Lonnie.

Rahman has accused his sister-in-law of refusing to let the family visit the ailing champion, writes the Sun. Rahman Ali admits that he hasn't seen his brother since July and has only spoken to him by phone.

Ali, 71, is suffering from Parkinson's Disease.

The former world heavyweight champion became a leading voice for the rights of Blacks in the 1960s and '70s. He was born Cassius Clay, in  Jan. 17, 1942, and changed his name in 1964 when he joined the Nation of Islam.

Outside of the ring, he became popular for his showmanship and charisma. In 1967, he refused to fight in the Vietnam War, citing his religion and his opposition to U.S. policy. As a result, his boxing license was revoked and he was stripped of his title.  The decision was later overturned and he regained his title.

In July 2012 Ali received the 2012 Liberty Medal in Philadelphia for his "outspoken advocacy for civil and religious freedom to his philanthropy, social activism and humanitarian efforts," writes the Associated Press.

In November 2011, Ali was rushed to the hospital after slipping in and out of consciousness. He had appeared weak and frail at Joe Frazier’s funeral on Nov. 17. 

May May Ali says her father is watching the Super Bowl at home in Arizona, wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey, writes the AP.

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