muhammad ali (watching super bowl)

Muhammad Ali poses before the Super Bowl. (Credit: Ali spokesman Bob Gunnell)

*The family of Muhammad Ali is disputing a report that says the former heavyweight champion is near death.

According to family spokesman Bob Gunnell, Ali was in his Phoenix area home watching the Super Bowl wearing Baltimore Ravens’ gear.

Ali’s brother, Rahman, said that his brother’s death is imminent, reports UK based The Sun newspaper.

The Sun quoted Rahman Ali as saying that his brother no longer recognizes him:

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.”

The Louisville Courier-Journal, Ali’s hometown newspaper, reached out to his wife, Lonnie, who referred the paper to Gunnell. Gunnell disputed The Sun report.

“He looks great. He’s having a Super Bowl party,” said Gunnell.

The 71-year-old Ali, who was famously stripped of the heavyweight title in 1967 for refusing induction into the military service, has had Parkinson’s disease since 1984. He appears frail, but has made several public appearances over the last several months.

Get more of this story at Yahoo Sports.