HANGING IN THERE—- In this Jan. 2 photo, former boxing legend Muhammad Ali arrives at the Sugar Bowl football game in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
By Tim Dahlberg
AP Boxing Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Muhammad Ali’s daughter knocked down rumors of her father being near death Sunday, saying he was at home watching the Super Bowl.
May May Ali said she talked to her father Sunday morning on the phone and he was fine. She said he was watching the Super Bowl at home in Arizona, wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey.
“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 family later posted a photo on Twitter of Ali sitting in a chair wearing a Ray Lewis T-shirt.
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.