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Muhammad Ali Ailing

November 4th, 2005 9:49am EST
Muhammad AliMuhammad Ali has only "months to live", according to his family and friends. The boxing legend, 63, has been bravely battling Parkinson's disease for the last 20 years but his condition is deteriorating rapidly. Daughter Laila, who has followed in Ali's footsteps by becoming a world champion boxer, says her father can now no longer speak and shuts himself away from his loved ones.

She said: "It is painful because I would love to sit down and talk with my dad about the way he used to be when he was my age and in his prime because we are so much alike. But I can't really share anything with him."

Ali, who was the first man to win the world heavyweight championship three times, is currently having intensive physical therapy to treat severe neck and back problems, but friends fear the end is in sight. One close pal said: "His condition has worsened over the past few years, At this point he may only months to live."

Ali, dubbed 'The Greatest' for his phenomenal exploits in the ring, enjoyed a celebrated and controversial boxing career. The legendary pugilist clocked up an incredible 56 wins in a career that spanned over two decades, but was famously stripped of his title in 1967 and jailed after refusing to be drafted into the US army to fight in Vietnam.

More Boxing Greats on Starpulse:
Evander Holyfield
George Foreman
Mike Tyson
Sugar Ray Leonard
Oscar De La Hoya