Boxing Great Muhammad Ali Hospitalized With Respiratory Issue

Boxing great Muhammad Ali has been hospitalized and is being treated for a respiratory issue, a family spokesperson said in a statement Thursday. 

Spokesman Bob Gunnell said the three-time world heavyweight champion, who has Parkinsons disease, "is being treated by his team of doctors and is in fair condition."

Gunnell added that "a brief hospital stay is expected" and that Ali's family has requested privacy.

Ali was hospitalized in December 2014 with what was initially believed to be a mild case of pneumonia. But Gunnell said doctors later determined that Ali was suffering from a severe urinary tract infection and not pneumonia. He was released from hospital in January 2015. 

Though he hasn't made many public appearances in recent years, Ali took a jab at "so called Islamic Jihadists" and those who would "use Islam to advance their own personal agenda" in December 2015 after Donald Trump proposed a ban on Muslim immigration to the United States. 

"I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world," the peace activist told NBC News in a statement. "True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion."

Ali's statement came three days after Trump tweeted that he couldn't recall any great American Muslim athletes — even though he's met Ali several times, NBC News reported. 

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