Muhammad Ali’s health is deteriorating, according to the boxer’s former manager, who said that Ali is “a prisoner in his own body.”
“It’s hard seeing him as he is today,” Gene Kilroy said of the former champion, reports NY Daily News. Ali has struggled with his health since 1984, when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
Kilroy continued, “He can just about walk and his speech is slurred. It takes huge effort for him to make the simplest communication now, but when he does, every word is worthwhile. But even now he has no fear. He says, ‘I’ll stay here as long as God wants me to. When my time comes I’ll have no regrets. I have achieved a lot.’”
Kilroy also commented on the 73-year-old’s past, specifically addressing the well-known rivalry between Ali and Joe Frazier. Kilroy said that the rivalry was long over and that Ali had even brought a wreath to the unveiling of a statue memorializing his former rival.
“It said, ‘Joe Frazier, rest in peace until we meet again. But next time we’re not going to fight, we’re just going to hug.’ It was a beautiful message. After the ceremony Joe’s widow Margaret and I went out to the graveside. We put that wreath there and Margaret cried like a baby.”