Muhammad Ali on life support as family is warned ‘the end is near’

The children of the sporting icon have rushed to be at his bedside as doctors treating the former heavyweight champ have told them they fear he “is near the end”

muhammad ali punch

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali is in intensive care embroiled in his most courageous bout – for his life.

The children of the sporting icon have rushed to be at his bedside as doctors treating the former heavyweight champ 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 the Phoenix area where medics continue to ***** a breathing problem picked up by the star.

The children flew in last night from around the US as doctors said the future survival of the champ was “uncertain”.

Although there were discussions about transporting him to another area of the hospital, sources claimed doctors decided the move “potentially could be deadly,” and the transfer was called off.

Ali has been unwell for some time

Ali has been unwell for some time

(L-R) Maryum Ali, Rasheda Ali-Walsh, Khaliah Ali, Jamillah Ali-Joyce and Hana Ali

(L-R) Maryum Ali, Rasheda Ali-Walsh, Khaliah Ali, Jamillah Ali-Joyce and Hana Ali

Sources close to the star say 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 worst.

Muhammad Ali with current wife Yolanda and their son Asaad

Muhammad Ali with current wife Yolanda and their son Asaad

Ali watched daughter Laila's career with pride

Ali watched daughter Laila’s career with pride

“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.

Ali is the world's foremost sporting icon

Ali is the world’s foremost sporting icon

Yesterday 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 dash to hospital sparked on outpouring of concern on social media with many fans fearing the worst.

Many celebrities added their best wishes including Sugar Ray Leonard, who modelled his career after Ali.

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.”

The boxer has been in hospital several times in recent years, most recently in early 2015 when he was treated for a severe urinary tract infection initially diagnosed as pneumonia.

The Olympic gold medalist had suffered a “mild case” of pneumonia in December 2014 but was discharged after a few days in hospital.

When he was released his daughter Rasheda Ali-Walsh said: “My daddy is a strong man. He’s so resilient and we’re all very grateful and blessed.”

Weeks later he was readmitted with a urinary tract infection.

Ali with Carrie Underwood at a celebrity ***** night earlier this year

Ali with Carrie Underwood at a celebrity ***** night earlier this year

Muhammad Ali was last seen on April 8, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona

Muhammad Ali was last seen on April 8, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona

In April, Ali was pictured looking frail with singer Carrie Underwood, 33, at one of his celebrity ***** night dinners in Phoenix, Arizona.

His last official public appearance before that was in October when he appeared at the Sports Illustrated Tribute to Muhammad Ali at The Muhammad Ali Centre in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.

Ali appeared frail at the Sports Illustrated Tribute to his life in October last year

Ali appeared frail at the Sports Illustrated Tribute to his life in October last year

The ring icon, who endured legendary rivalries with Joe Frazier and George Foreman, was ­diagnosed with Parkinson’s about three years after he retired from boxing in 1981.

His public appearances have diminished over the past several years as he continues to battle the crippling brain condition.

Earlier this year he was forced to cancel a planned trip to London to open an exhibition about his life due to his ailing health.

Muhammad Ali was seen trembling when lighting the Olympic flame in Atlanta in 1996

Muhammad Ali was seen trembling when lighting the Olympic flame in Atlanta in 1996

Former Heavyweight World Champion Muhammad Ali, is pictured with his wife Belinda and their four children

Former Heavyweight World Champion Muhammad Ali, is pictured with his wife Belinda and their four children

Ali, born Cassius Clay, has suffered from Parkinson’s for three decades, most famously trembling badly while lighting the Olympic torch in 1996 in Atlanta.

Doctors say the the disease was likely caused by the thousands of punches Ali took during his career.

Muhammad Ali And third wife Veronica

Muhammad Ali And third wife Veronica

Muhammad Ali's former manager Gene Kilroy told how the former boxer was a "prisoner in his own body"

Muhammad Ali’s former manager Gene Kilroy told how the former boxer was a “prisoner in his own body”

Many say he was made to ***** for too long causing him to suffer unnecessary punishment in the ring.

In November Ali’s close friend and former manager Gene Kilroy sparked concern when he described the boxer as “a prisoner in his own body”.

“It’s hard seeing him as he is today,” said Kilroy.

“He can just about walk and his speech is slurred. It takes huge effort for him to make the simplest communication now, but when he does, every word is worthwhile.

“But even now he has no fear. He says, ‘I’ll stay here as long as God wants me to. When my time comes I’ll have no regrets. I have achieved a lot.’”

Kilroy forged a lifelong friendship with “The Greatest” after the pair met at the Rome Olympics in 1960.

Muhammad Ali with first wife Sonji Roi

Muhammad Ali with first wife Sonji Roi

Brother Rahman Ali with his wife

Brother Rahman Ali with his wife

Two years ago his brother Rahman Ali said the Olympic gold medalist’s health had deteriorated so much he was unable to speak.

It led the boxer to miss the premiere in Hollywood of the new I Am Ali movie due to his frailty.

Several days later however Ali took to Twitter in attempt to reassure fans he was alright posting a picture of himself smiling alongside two women at the Boar’s Head in Charlottesville, Virginia.

But his illness has not stopped him taking Donald Trump to task over the presidential ­hopeful’s bid to ban Muslims from America.

He said recently: “Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness, I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people’s views on what Islam really is.”

Ali joined the Nation of Islam in 1964 before changing his name from Cassius Clay.

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