Muhammad Ali's Brother Rahman Comments on Boxing Icon's Health

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2014

PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 15:  (L-R) Muhammed Ali and Jesse Jackson attend the 58th NBA All-Star Game, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend at US Airways Center on February 15, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Updates from Wednesday, Oct. 15 

Muhammad Ali's daughter, Laila, spoke out about her father's health:

Original Text:

Muhammad Ali has given us plenty of memorable quotes over the years, but now his ongoing fight with Parkinson's disease has made it difficult for him to speak entirely.

Katie Hind of the Mirror shared the details Saturday:

The boxing legend, 72, who has been battling debilitating Parkinson’s disease for years, has become increasingly frail and is now largely housebound. 

And fresh health fears were sparked after he was too ill to attend the premiere of a new movie about his life last week and could not take part in any of the filming.

Speaking at the screening of I Am Ali in Hollywood, his brother Rahman, 71, 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."

The film is a closer look at Ali's family life and, according to Hind's report, also includes excerpts from former boxers like George Foreman and Mike Tyson. Sadly, Ali has not yet been able to see the film. 

After seeing I Am Ali last week, Tim Smith, in a special column to Bleacher Report, detailed his experience meeting Ali in the summer of 1988. For some, perhaps the most telling comment from Smith's interview was Ali discussing his relationship with his fans.

"I enjoy the people," Ali said, per Smith. "I remember what it was like when I was growing up to see the people I admired—Joe Louis, Jack Johnson. People want to be a part of that. They enjoy meeting people that inspire them. If I can make someone happy, that's what I enjoy."

While the film looks like a fascinating and touching look back at the life of one of the most impactful public figures of the 20th century, it's difficult to hear of Ali's health deteriorating at the same time.  

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A person who once seemed larger than life as a younger man, Ali's public appearances have now become rather rare, highlighted by his presence in the 2012 Opening Ceremony at the London Olympics. 

But a film being released about his life at this time is also a reminder that Ali's legacy is not his ongoing battle with Parkinson's.

What we'll remember is his gold medal and his fights against Joe Frazier. We'll remember him triumphing over Sonny Liston and George Foreman, or being needled by Howard Cosell. We'll remember him changing his name from Cassius Clay for religious reasons. We'll remember him refusing to fight in Vietnam and standing by the decision, even when he was arrested.   

And of course, we'll remember "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."

Parkinson’s disease has taken a lot from Ali. What it can't take is his legacy.

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