Updated: February 4, 2013 3:08PM
It appears the champ still has plenty of fight left in him.
Despite rumors of declining health, former boxing world champion Muhammad Ali is healthy, upright and enjoyed the Ravens’ victory in Super Bowl XLVII, the champ’s family tells the Sun-Times from Ali’s home in Arizona.
Ali’s family sent the photos of the champ to the Sun-Times with this message:
“Muhammad is enjoying the Super Bowl with his wife Lonnie and his sister-in-law Marilyn Williams and is ‘coaching’ the Ravens to victory.”
The pictures and message contradicted a report from London’s The Sun, which had a quote from Ali’s brother Rahman, who said the 71-year-old former heavyweight champ with Parkinson’s disease could be close to dying.
Rahman told The Sun:
“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.”
According to his family, Ali became close with the Ravens after meeting the team in October 2012 in Baltimore. He took pictures with the players and coaches and “was impressed at what great guys they were. He knew then they would be champions.”
When asked how he was liking the game, his family responded:
“He particularly enjoyed Beyonce’s halftime show. He didn’t blink.”