Boxing legend and social justice icon Muhammad Ali is being treated at a Louisville hospital for what is described as a “mild” bout of pneumonia.
USA Today Sports reports the 72-year-old Ali was recently admitted to the facility and his prognosis is described as “good” because he and his family sought early treatment for the illness. For decades now, the man widely considered the best heavyweight to ever live has battled Parkinson’s disease that has greatly reduced his public appearances.
While the family declined to talk about his current case of pneumonia, Rahman Ali recently described his brother’s condition as deteriorating when he spoke at the October premier of the documentary “I Am Ali.” Rahman Ali added his brother is now experiencing difficulty speaking.
Shortly after that, Ali took to Twitter to post “Don’t believe the hype. Feeling great.” Later in October, he appeared at a Louisville football game when they hosted rival Florida State and Jameis Winston.
“Muhammad is doing fine at this point,” family spokesman Bob Gunnell said back then. “His speaking style is lower in tone, and as the day goes on, he doesn’t speak as well as he does in the morning. But Muhammad’s a strong person for his age and for the disease he has.”
Ali’s will and strength are part of the reason his handlers predict his hospital stay for the case of pneumonia he is now batting will be short lived.
Ali posted a 61-5 record over his pro career and in addition to rising to become heavyweight champ also won an Olympic gold medal. In 1967, he refused to enlist in the U.S. Army after being drafted because of his Muslim religious beliefs. Ali’s actions resulted in him being stripped of his title and jailed on charges of being draft evasion.
In 1971, his conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court.[Photo Credit: Matthew’s Foundation]