“He’s fine, in fact he was talking well this morning,” she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “These rumors pop up every once in a while but there’s nothing to them.”
The rumors were started by a report in a British tabloid quoting Ali’s brother, Rahman, as saying the former heavyweight champion was near death. Rahman, though, said he hadn’t seen his brother since last summer and had no contact with the family.
The report was widely repeated on the Internet, drawing expressions of condolences on Twitter and Facebook.
Ali suffers from Parkinson’s disease. He celebrated his 71st birthday last month.
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