Phoenix - Boxing legend Muhammad Ali remained in hospital for a second day on
Friday for treatment of a respiratory ailment, amid media reports that
his condition has been complicated by his Parkinson's disease.
spokesperson Bob Gunnell told the Louisville Courier-Journal on Friday
that the 74-year-old former heavyweight world champion remained in fair
condition in the Phoenix area and that a brief stay was still expected.
noted the "media frenzy" touched off each time the iconic fighter is
hospitalized, but declined to give the newspaper in Ali's hometown
further details on Ali's condition.
US celebrity news website
radaronline.com quoted an anonymous source as saying Ali required help
breathing and that worried family members had gathered at his bedside.
Gunnell did not immediately respond to AFP requests for comment.
known globally not only for his storied ring career but also for his
civil rights activism, has been hospitalized multiple times in recent
He spent time in hospital in 2014 after suffering a mild case of pneumonia and again in 2015 for a urinary tract infection.
Parkinson's, thought to be linked to the thousands of punches he took
during his career, has limited his public speaking for years.
But he has continued to make appearances and offer opinions through his family members and spokespeople.
In April, he attended a Celebrity Fight Night Dinner in Phoenix that raised funds for treatment of Parkinson's.
December, he issued a statement rebuking US presidential hopeful Donald
Trump over Trump's call for a ban on Muslims entering the United
News of his latest health setback sparked concern among admirers.
"Prayers & blessings to my idol," boxer Sugar Ray Leonard tweeted.
Ali - whose legendary boxing career stretched from 1960 to 1981 - dazzled
fans with slick moves in the ring, and with his wit and engaging
persona outside it.
His opposition to the Vietnam War saw him
banned from the sport for years, but the US Supreme Court overturned his
conviction for draft dodging in 1971.
Once vilified in some
quarters for his conversion to Islam and his outspoken stance on civil
rights issues, Ali held firm to earn dozens of tributes, lighting the
Olympic torch in 1996 in Atlanta and being named a UN messenger of peace
He received the highest US civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2005.
News of his hospitalisation brought well wishes from boxers and others on Twitter, including Sugar Ray Leonard, who modeled his career after Ali's.
"Prayers & blessings to my idol, my friend, & without question, the Greatest of All Time @MuhammadAli ! #GOAT," Leonard wrote.