Boxing legend, Muhammad Ali, is so ill from Parkinson’s that he can barely speak, his brother, Rahman Ali has said.
The three-time world heavyweight champion was diagnosed with the disease in 1984 but his condition has gradually deteriorated and he is now mostly housebound.
He was too ill to attend a premiere of a film about his life last week and his condition meant he could not take part in the production of the movie either.
His brother, Rahman, 71, attended the screening of ‘I Am Ali’ in Hollywood, and told The Sunday People: ‘I have not been able to talk to my brother about this because he is sick.
‘He doesn’t speak too well. But he is proud that we are here for him. He has given this film his blessing.’
While his daughter Maryum, 46, who was also at the premiere, said her father would love the film and it will make him laugh and cry.
Her sister Hana, 38, is planning to show the legendary boxer the new movie at his Arizona home later this month.
Directed by Clare Lewins, the documentary movie gives unprecedented access to Ali’s personal archive of ‘audio journals’ as well as interviews with his family and boxers Mike Tyson and George Foreman, and put together to tell his life story.
Nicknamed the ‘Louisville Lip’ for his infamous wit, Ali remained active for several years after his diagnosis and made a moving appearance at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games where he lit the flame.
However, the sporting icon, who retired from boxing after suffering several strokes, was seen looking particularly thin and frail at the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony where he was helped across the stage by wife Lonnie.
In February 2013 his brother Rahman said Ali was so crippled by the degenerative brain condition that has afflicted many ex-boxers, he might not survive until the summer.
He also made claims that the family had been barred from seeing Ali, who is estimated to be worth more than £50million, and could only speak to him on the phone.
Rahman said his brother was ‘a prisoner in his own home’ and he is being gravely mistreated by his wife because ‘she is more interested in Ali’s money than his well-being’.
However Ali’s daughter May May said she had spoken to her father that morning and he was fine, watching the Super Bowl at home in Arizona wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey.
“He’s fine, in fact he was talking well this morning,” she said in a telephone interview with CBS at the time. “These rumours pop up every once in a while but there’s nothing to them.”
Muhammad’s son, Ali Jnr, said in January he believe there was ‘no chance’ his father would survive another year.
“I just want, hope and pray to God that this awful disease takes my dad sooner rather than later. Take him away from all the suffering he’s in,” stressed the junior Ali. Thisday