Legendary heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali has been rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a mild case of pneumonia.
The three-time heavyweight champion of the world, touted to be one of history’s greatest fighters, is currently in stable condition and should expect to be confined for a short hospital stay.
"He went into the hospital this morning," Bob Gunnell, Ali’s spokesperson told People over the phone. "He has a mild case of pneumonia and the prognosis is good."
Ali, 72, who has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease since 1984, is in good hands with a team of doctors who are carefully monitoring his current condition.
Pneumonia is considered a dangerous complication for patients already suffering the debilitating neurological condition of Parkinson’s, a disease characterized by shaking, loss of muscle control and balance problems.
Sufferers often have trouble swallowing, leading to pneumonia. Ali’s doctor, Abraham Lieberman did confirm in November 2014 in an interview with BBC that the former fighter was experiencing problems with swallowing. And while many claim his Parkinson’s was caused by head shots he received during his career in the ring, doctors have yet to make a connection between those punches and the disease.
The boxing champ, real name Cassius Clay, is considered one of the greatest heavyweight fighters in the history of boxing. A controversial figure since the beginning of his career, he espoused racial justice, religious freedom and preached principle over expedience.
Once crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated, he first won the world heavyweight championship at the age of 22, defeating Sonny Liston. After overpowering George Foreman in “The Rumble in the Jungle,” dubbed one of the greatest fights of all time, he converted to Sunni Islam in 1975 and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
Contentious to a fault, he refused to answer his draft for the Vietnam War, citing religious beliefs and his opposition to the US involvement in the conflict. Despite his arrest for draft evasion, being stripped of his boxing title and losing years of his peak performance time, he brought his case up to the US Court of Appeals where his conviction was overturned.
Watch the news clip on Ali’s hospitalization for pneumonia:
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Unknown/1966