Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali is fighting for his life. The three-time world heavyweight champion is on life support and is “barely breathing,” Radar Online wrote in an exclusive report Friday. He was hospitalized with respiratory problems the day before in Phoenix, where he lives.
The former athlete’s vital signs are “terrible,” the report said, adding that he needs assistance to breathe properly. Initially, there were conversations about possibly moving him to another Phoenix hospital, but Ali’s condition is apparently too serious. The move was deemed potentially “deadly,” so it was called off.
Things are reportedly so bad with the 74-year-old that he might not make it through. “He needs every bit of fight he’s got left to survive,” the source said. “Doctors are telling the family that it likely won’t be long until he passes away.”
His ex-wife, actress Veronica Porche, echoed the champion’s dire condition. The two daughters she shares with Ali, Laila and Hana Yasmeen, flew to Phoenix to be with their father. “I will be hearing from them when they arrive at the hospital,” she told Radar Online Thursday. “I can’t comment more than that, but I will say it is not so great; I’ll just say that much.”
Ali’s spokesman, Bob Gunnell, confirmed to ESPN the American sports legend would be hospitalized for a “brief” amount of time. "At this time, the Muhammad Ali family respectfully requests privacy,” Gunnell said. "He is being treated by his team of doctors and is in fair condition."
Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. and known as "The Greatest," was hospitalized twice in recent months. “The last time was tough. It’s a sad situation. We’ll be hearing soon,” Porche said about his latest hospitalization.
Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984 when he was 42 years old. He had been retired from boxing for three years when he was given the news about the neurological disorder.
Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella