Ali, who has been battling advanced Parkinson's disease, has made few public appearances in recent years. (Wikimedia Commons)


“The Greatest” is battling in perhaps the most challenging fight of his life.

Boxing legend and three-time world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali has been hospitalized Thursday in Arizona with what a spokesman said is a respiratory issue.

The 74-year-old, who transformed the sport in the 1960s and rose to greatness in the 1970s with legendary bouts against Joe Frazier, George Forman and Leon Spinks, reportedly is in fair condition with his wife and caregiver, Lonnie Ali, at his side.

Ali, who has been battling advanced Parkinson’s disease, has made few public appearances in recent years. In September, the renowned champion attended an awards ceremony by the University of Louisville honoring his prolific boxing career and legacy as a hometown hero, NBC News reported.

The Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum in Louisville opened earlier this month.

Previously, the man known and revered throughout the world as “The Greatest,” had been hospitalized for several days in December 2014 and January 2015 after suffering a severe urinary tract infection initially thought to be pneumonia.

In recent months, Ali waded into the nation’s political fight after presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump suggested banning all Muslims from entering the United States.

Ali, who joined the Nation of Islam in 1964 just prior to his heavyweight title match with Sonny Liston, asked for more understanding about Islam, according to NBC News.

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Freddie Allen is the National News Editor for the NNPA News Wire and 200-plus Black newspapers. 20 million readers. You should follow Freddie on Twitter and Instagram @freddieallenjr.

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