Doctor recalls Muhammad Ali’s Kerala visit

Kozhikode (Kerala), June 4 (IANS) A Kerala neurologist on Saturday recalled the visit and the time he spent with legendary boxer Muhammad Ali during his stay here in 1989.

Ali passed away on Saturday in the United States. He was hospitalised for a respiratory problem on Thursday and died on Friday at the age of 74.

One of the greatest boxers in the history of the sport, Ali retired in 1981 and soon found signs of sluggishness and neurological damage. He thereafter received treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

Speaking to IANS, P.A. Fazal Ghafoor, president of the Muslim Educational Society (MES), said that they decided to invite Ali to inaugurate the silver jubilee celebrations of their organisation.

“Veteran Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar was also present on the occasion and so was Ali, who we managed to bring through some of our friends in the US. Since I being a neurologist, the first time I shook his hands, I could sense all was not well with him,” said Ghafoor.

“He was with us for two days and his speech also had a problem, so was his movements. He did not speak much and was generally quiet,” added Ghafoor.

“Even though he had converted to Islam and we also belong to the same religion, he did not speak on Islam. He was at that time fighting the anti-apartheid movement across the world.”

–IANS

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