Ali impending death claims: Reporters’ rope-a-dope or champ’s endnote?

Ali impending death claims: Reporters’ rope-a-dope or champ’s endnote?

Norwich : United Kingdom | Feb 03, 2013 at 11:06 PM PST
Views: Pending

An exclusive interview by British tabloid The Sun with former heavyweight world champion Muhammad Ali’s younger brother Rahman has led to widespread speculation that the much loved, long-ailing boxing icon “could be dead within days.”

But should Ali’s fans around the world be worried? Or might this just be a case of Rahman Ali – a former boxer himself – pulling an Ali “rope-a-dope” on the international media?

Might it just be an over enthusiastic, poorly poised editor’s sensationalist swipe at a big headline?

Or might this even be a ploy of “The Greatest” himself, cunningly orchestrated with the aid of his brother and wife Lonnie?

Might The Sun article ultimately be revealed as an Ali family dancing butterfly, stinging bee strategy?

Brother Rahman’s words seem genuine enough. According to the article, published on Feb. 3, that has come out of his interview with The Sun, he even shed tears as he described his brother’s condition.

“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,” reads The Sun’s take on Rahman’s words.

But this assessment contrasts sharply with a statement subsequently issued by Ali’s family through spokesperson Bob Gunnel.

According to The Toronto Sun, quoting the Louisville, Kentucky based Courier-Journal, the family posted a photo on Twitter of Ali in a Ravens jersey getting ready to watch the Super Bowl.

Coincidentally, that game was also spiced-up by some sibling rivalry drama, as brothers John and Jim Harbaugh, coaches of the Baitimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers teams went up against each other.

No reports seen by this writer so far mention which team Ali's brother backed - or even if he, like Ali's wife, is a football fan.

“He and his wife, Lonnie, were at home in Phoenix on Sunday watching the game,” Gunnell told the Courier-Journal.

“He looks great,” Gunnell said. “He’s having a Super Bowl [Unlink] party.”

Also taking to Twitter was former British boxing champion Ricky Hatton [Unlink], who urged his fans to pray for Ali.

Whatever the truth of the situation, what seems undeniable is that all may not be right with the Ali estate at present.

Rahman's claim that the champ’s wife is blocking his and other relatives’ access to Ali could either be an understatement or exaggeration.

The state of the “official website” certainly raises questions - it appears not to have been updated since Oct. 20, 2011.

Is this just a "thrilla in the media" or a "rumble in the news jungle"?

Is this a case of the British news media boxng itself into a bloody nose?


1 of 1
Muhammad Ali
Image: AFP
Junior Campbell is based in London, England, United Kingdom, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear

News Stories

  • Muhammad Ali near death - brother

      New Zealand Herald
    Ali, considered to be the greatest boxer of all time, suffers from Parkinson's disease which he was diagnosed with in 1984...He's very sick," Rahman Ali told the British newspaper . "It could be months, it could be days.
  • Legendary Boxer Muhammad Ali At Death's Door

      Stupid Celebrities Gossip
    February 3, 2013 Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali is said to be in very bad condition, according to his brother Rahman Ali. Rahman said the former heavyweight champion cannot speak and doesn't even recognize him...Rahman said his 71-year-old brother, who...
  • Is Muhammad Ali Near Death?

      Pop Crunch
    A spokesperson for boxing legend Muhammad Ali is disputing a British tabloid report claiming the one-time heavyweight champion is near death. The scoop came from Ali's brother Rahman, who told The Sun that death was imminent for the sports icon and...
  • Muhammad Ali's family rejects 'near death' claims by brother

      Daily News & Analysis
    Muhammad Ali's family has rejected suggestion that the legendary boxer is near his end, posting a picture of him enjoying the Super Bowl on social networking website Twitter. Earlier, Ali's brother had told British media that the sporting great, who...
  • REPORT: Muhammad Ali In Grave Condition
    February 3, 2013 Boxing legend Muhammad Ali could be dead in days', warns his distraught brother, reports the DailyMail ! This may be more a case of Ali's brother trying to use a little drama to get a personal meeting with the boxing legend, but...
  • Muhammad Ali Being Abused by Wife

    Ali is being kept a virtual prisoner in his own home by his wife and only taken out when she wants to make more money. The boxing legend's heartbroken brother Rahman has made astonishing claims about Ali's sad last days. My brother doesn't speak...



More From Allvoices

Related People

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report

Most Commented Reports

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.