October 30 marks the 40th anniversary of his iconic boxing fight with George Foreman, and legendary boxer Muhammad Ali is alive and well. Despite suffering from a debilitating disease such as Parkinson’s, Ali is reportedly feeling well overall and his spirit remains strong.
Ali’s daughter Hana Ali said that Parkinson’s disease has affected her father’s ability to speak and walk, but that his overall health is good. “He doesn’t mind the press talking about him dying. Sometimes he looks at me and he’ll go, ‘I’m not dying,’” said Hana.
When Ali missed the October 8 showing of the documentary tribute to him called I Am Ali, speculation on the boxer’s health began. Hana said, however, that her father missed the premiere of the documentary because of his involvement at the 2nd Annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards on September 27 in Louisville.
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) October 17, 2014
“The last time I talked to my Dad, he was joking again about making a comeback,” said Hana. “He said, ‘I’m going to take my title back for the fourth time.’ Whenever I hear him joking like that, it makes me feel good. He’s still in there.”
Ali will reportedly be attending private events on October 30 to celebrate the anniversary of the Rumble In the Jungle, but his spokesman said that the boxing champion would not be granting interviews.
Rumble In The Jungle, the fight between Ali and heavyweight champion George Foreman, happened on October 30, 1974 in Zaire. More than 50,000 spectators showed up to see Ali fight Foreman.
It was during Rumble In The Jungle when Ali invented his “Rope-a-Dope” tactic of hunkering by the ropes and letting Foreman tire himself out by punching Ali’s arms. After seven rounds of grueling fight, Ali managed to knock Foreman out with a precision right hook in the eighth round.
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) October 29, 2014
Both Ali and Foreman were given $5 million each by President Mobuto of Zaire for the fight, which made the victory even sweeter for Ali in 1974.