Muhammad Ali‘s latest hospitalization may be more serious than his previous hospital stays, two people familiar with his condition tell the Associated Press.
Ali, 74, has been in the hospital since Thursday battling respiratory issues. The boxing legend, considered to be one of the world’s greatest athletes, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the 1980s. Over the years, Ali has been hospitalized a handful of times, most recently last year to treat a urinary tract infection and in December 2014 with pneumonia.
While Ali spokesperson Bob Gunnell says he is in fair condition at a Phoenix area hospital, sources tell the AP his condition may be more serious, worrying family members and fans alike.
From USA Today:
Gunnell, in an interview with Gannett’s (Louisville) Courier-Journal, downplayed the report and said each Ali hospitalization causes a “media frenzy.” He said Ali’s condition remained the same, but declined to provide further details.
In recent years, the boxing legend’s public appearances have been scarce — in April during the Celebrity Fight Night dinner in Phoenix (an annual event to raise funds for Parkinson’s treatment and research), he was photographed wearing sunglasses and appeared “frail,” USA Today reports. His last formal public appearance was at the Sports Illustrated Tribute to Muhammad Ali at The Muhammad Ali Center in October.
There was no update on Ali’s condition on Friday.