May May Ali, the daughter of boxing icon Muhammad Ali, squelched rumors about her famous father being on his deathbed, with family members posting a picture of The Greatest in the comfort of his home watching the Super Bowl and rooting for his team, the Baltimore Ravens, reports the Courier-Journal.
“He’s fine, in fact he was talking well this morning,” May May told the Associated Press.
The ugly rumor got its legs when on Sunday, London’s The Sun newspaper quoted Ali’s brother, Rahman, saying that Ali was on the brink of passing. Rahman’s interview with the paper quickly spread like wildfire, with some news sources saying that Ali’s condition had worsened.
Since 1984, Ali has been battling Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, and has grown frail over the years. Even though his speech and movements have been affected by the disease, the champ has managed to make public appearances over the years, even as recently as last month at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Rahman, who has admitted he has not seen his brother since last summer and has had no contact with his family, 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.”
May May on the other hand told the Associated Press the deathbed rumors about her dad pop up every now and then but no one should give any credence to them at all.
Meanwhile, Ali family spokesperson Bob Gunnell returned a call from the Courier-Journal that was placed to the champ’s wife, Lonnie. Gunnell wanted to assure the public that Ali was fine and that “he looks great” and went on to reveal that Ali was “having a Super Bowl Party.”
Ali’s family went on to tweet a picture on Ali’s Twitter account of the 71-year-old former World Heavyweight Boxing Champ in a Baltimore Ravens tee, sitting in an upright position with his fists up and holding a team helmet balloon. The caption on the picture read:
@RealALI_me: The Greatest is ready for the Super Bowl!