Muhammad Ali's family disputes brother's report of poor health

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

The legendary heavyweight champion is "in a bad way," according to his estranged brother. A family spokesman disputes the report.

Muhammad Ali is "in a bad way" and "could die within days," according to an interview with his brother Rahman in The (London) Sun.

Rahman told the Sun: "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."

But while Rahman's words are cause for alarm for the legendary boxer, they must be filtered through other details from the interview, including the note that Rahman only communicates with his older brother by phone, and that he has not seen the former heavyweight champion since July 2012.

Ali, a Louisville native, was most recently in the public eye when he served as one of the honorary captains for Louisville in the 2013 Sugar Bowl. He retired from boxing in 1981 and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1984.

Update: Bob Gunnell, the family's spokeman, disputes the report, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. “He looks great,” Gunnell told the paper. “He’s having a Superbowl party.”

Gunnell also pointed to a little-used Twitter account that apparently belongs to Ali, showing the former champion preparing to watch the game:

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