Boxing legend Muhammad Ali 'may die in days', warns his brother

Updated: 2013-02-04
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Muhammad Ali
Boxing great Muhammad Ali waves after being awarded the Liberty Medal, as his wife Lonnie (L) and sister-in-law Marilyn Williams (R) look on, at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania September 13, 2012. Ali, retired world heavyweight title holder, received the $100,000 award, sponsored by the nonprofit National Constitution Center, in recognition for his humanitarian efforts and work for civil rights at an awards ceremony on Thursday.(Photo : Reuters) "
Muhammad Ali
One of sports' greatest legends, Muhammad Ali, is said to be just days away from death, at least according to his brother.

Rahman Ali told The Sun his 71-year-old brother cannot speak and no longer recognizes him.

"He's in a bad way. He's very sick,'' Rahman Ali said.

"It could be months, it could be days. I don't know if he'll last the summer. He's in God's hands.

"He told me before he got really bad that he's in no pain. He grabbed my arm and whispered, 'Rah, I've achieved everything I've ever wanted to accomplish. Don't cry for me, I'm in no pain.' It's best he goes now. The longer he goes on, so does his suffering and misery.

"He's going to heaven, there's no doubt. If his funeral was tomorrow, all the statesmen of the world would turn up. He touched everyone from the rich to the poor.

"I love my brother over anybody. Of all the famous people who ever lived, he's the best. Everyone knows Muhammad Ali. He's up there with Jesus Christ.

"I cry because it hurts me, it breaks my heart. I hope to see him again alive, but I can only hope."

Family spokesman Bob Gunnel disputed Rahman's claims and said Ali "looks great".

"He's having a Super Bowl party," Gunnell said.

Former heavyweight boxing champion Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1984. Regarded as one of the greatest sportsmen of all time, he has made many public appearances over the years, including at the Sugar Bowl college football game last month.

One of the most memorable moments in sports involving Ali would have to be the lighting of the 1996 Olympic Games flame. He was seen looking particularly thin and frail at the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony where he was helped across the stage by Lonnie, his wife of 26 years.

Rahman has accused Lonnie for tearing the family apart and said Ali would be "mad as hell" if he knew what was going on.

He said: "The worst thing to happen is not the illness, but his wife."

Ali had several famous fights during his career, including 1974's "Rumble in the Jungle" with George Foreman and the "Thrilla in Manila" against Joe Frazier the following year.
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