Muhammad Ali 'Still Fighting'
Muhammad Ali statue currently on exhibition at The O2 Arena, London
Muhammad Ali is "still fighting every day".
Although the 74-year-old boxing legend is battling Parkinson's disease and is largely confined to a wheelchair, his close friend Davis Miller has praised Ali's fighting spirit. Speaking about the boxer, whose life is being celebrated with a new exhibit at London's O2 arena, 'I Am The Greatest: Muhammad Ali', opening today (04.03.16) Davis said
"He's 74 and in late stages of Parkinson's and still fights every day and all day long. There's a magic about Muhammad Ali - everything from his elegance in the ring to his sense of humour, which has a childlike quality to it. He connects with the child in us too.
"He still plays with kids even in a wheelchair. He lights up around kids.
The exhibit features more than 100 artefacts and previously unseen footage of the champion and Ali is hoping to travel to London from his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, to see it before it closes on August 31.
Speaking at the launch, Davis said: "I've spoken with Ali's wife Lonnie and the plan now is to bring him over the UK later this summer.
"It was deemed too soon to bring him over for the start of the London exhibition this week, but Ali definitely wants to visit while it is still on.
"He has made no secret of the fact that he treats the UK almost like a second home.
"Doctors have given Ali a strict fitness plan to try and build up his strength in time for the flight over.
"You are talking about flying through two or three different time zones to get to the UK, which is a strain on anyone, never mind someone who is suffering what Ali is.
"He will fly elsewhere in the States, stop overnight, and then fly on again in order to cut down on the strain the journey will put on him."
The exhibit features artefacts from Ali's career such as fight-worn gloves, headgear and boots.
Some of the most notable items include the 'People's Choice' robe presented to Ali by Elvis Presley before a fight against Joe Bugner in 1973, signed boots from his 1976 fight with Jimmy Young and Ali's glove which split in the fourth round of his 1963 fight with Henry Cooper.