American boxing legend Muhammad Ali is in intensive care Friday reportedly fighting for his life.
The Mirror reports that the children of the global sporting icon have rushed to be at his bedside as doctors treating the former heavyweight champion have told them they fear he “is near the end”.
Already four of the 74-year-old’s nine children, including daughters Laila, Hana and Maryum, are at the hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona, where doctors continue to fight a breathing problem picked up by the star.
The children flew in on Thursday night from around the US as doctors said the future survival of the champion was “uncertain”.
The Mirror quotes sources close to the once flamboyant boxer as saying Ali’s battle with his respiratory problem has been complicated by the Parkinson's that he was diagnosed with in the 1980s.
“Like in the ring, Ali is a fighter on the ward,” said a source.
“Doctors are working to regulate his breathing put it is being hampered by his Parkinson’s.
“His children are all extremely concerned and dropped everything to be with him. They fear the worse.
“Ali is everything to them and there are worried his problems are worse than first feared.”
The boxer has children – two sons and seven daughters – from three marriages although two of his kids are from extra marital relationships.
Confirming his daughters had flown to be with him the fighter’s third wife Veronica Porche, 60, said Laila – a 38-year-old retired professional boxer — and Hana Yasmeen, 40, were with him.
Ali’s second wife, Khalilah, 66, said one of her three daughters by Ali “is on her way” to the hospital as well.
She was married to him from 1967 to 1997, and was succeeded by Porche.
Maryum, who is extremely close to her father, was the daughter Ali’s first wife Belinda Boyd.They are joined by Ali's current wife Lonnie.
On Thursday a spokesman for the ex heavyweight champion confirmed to the Mirror Ali was under medical care and described his condition as “fair”.
"Ali, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, is being treated by his team of doctors and is in fair condition," said Bob Gunnell in a written statement.
"A brief hospital stay is expected. At this time, the Muhammad Ali family respectfully requests privacy."
Since he was admitted sources say Ali, arguably the most recognised person in the world, has deteriorated.
News of his hospitalisation sparked on outpouring of concern on social media with many fans fearing the worse.
Many celebrities added their best wishes including Sugar Ray Leonard, who modelled his career after Ali.
On Thursday Ali’s life long friend Tim Shanahan confirmed the grave news to the Mirror.
The former medical-instruments salesman has enjoyed a 40 year friendship with the former boxer travelling the world together and being close to the boxer’s daughters.
He said: “Service to others is the rent that we pay on earth for our room in heaven, was an encryption he liked.
“He believes that God keeps tabs on each individual and that on one side are the good deeds one has done in life and on the other, the bad deeds.”
“He used to tell me ‘I want to make sure that when I die, I have more good deeds than bad deeds’.
“Now Muhammad Ali, your room in heaven is right next to God's master bedroom in his mansion in heaven. Thank you for giving the world the Greatest Love of All.”
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