Ali family sparring again after stunning claims by champ’s brother

Rahman Ali, brother of Muhammad Ali, is pictured here at the Oct. 8 Hollywood premiere of 'I Am Ali.' He is pictured with Muhammad Ali's daughters, from left: Maryum Ali, Khaliah Ali-Camacho, Jamillah Ali-Joyce, Rasheda Ali-Walsh and Hana Ali.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Apparently, Rahman Ali really needs to check in on his brother more often, because for the second time in less than two years, the family of Muhammad Ali is denying reports by Rahman that the former champ is in dire health.

Numerous reports in Europe claim the 71-year-old Rahman believes his 72-year-old brother’s condition from Parkinson’s disease has deteriorated to the point that the boxing great is barely able to speak and rarely leaves his house, and that it even prevented him from attending the Hollywood premier of the latest Ali biopic last week.

According to British paper Sunday People, Rahman said during that Hollywood premiere of "I Am Ali":

"I have not been able to talk to my brother about this because he is sick. He doesn’t speak too well. But he is proud that we are here for him. He has given this film his blessing."

But in perhaps one sign of Rahman’s closeness with the rest of the Ali family, Rasheda Ali — one of Muhammad’s daughters — posted to Twitter this photo from the premiere. It is very similar to the photo above except, notice anyone missing?

And on Monday we may have gotten another such sign, as Ali family spokesperson Bob Gunnell told The Courier-Journal in Ali’s native Louisville, Kentucky, that Muhammad is "doing fine," but did provide a bit of a sobering update on the three-time heavyweight champion’s health.

"Muhammad is doing fine at this point," Gunnell said. "His speaking style is lower in tone, and as the day goes on, he doesn’t speak as well as he does in the morning. But Muhammad’s a strong person for his age and for the disease he has."

In terms of Ali’s overall health, Gunnell told the paper, "[Ali’s] not at a point where we’re at all worried," and that "if Muhammad were having major health issues, we would issue something."

Ali has battled Parkinson’s, a degenerative disease of the brain, since 1984.

"I Am Ali" is like most bios on the boxer, telling stories from childhood and adulthood, in the ring and out, including Ali’s political activism. But it also relies heavily on 80 hours of audio tapes from earlier in Ali’s life.

The he said/he said between family members is very similar to an incident in February 2013, when Rahman claimed Muhammad was on his deathbed and "could die within days," only to have Gunnell issue a statement disputing the claim.

On that night, the exchange took place during the Super Bowl, and Gunnell claimed of Muhammad: "He’s having a Super Bowl party."

Daughter Laila Ali even offered up this awesome photo of the champ as proof that not only was he healthy, but he was indeed enjoying the big game like most of the world:

This photo also made the rounds on social media that Super Sunday:

The following month, he caught up with J-Lo and her sister Lynda Lopez at a desert resort & spa.

The high-powered trio hangs out at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix on March 23, 2013 while attending Muhammad Ali’s Celebrity Fight Night XIX.

We should all be in such poor health.

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