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Lonnie Ali: It's a tragedy Muhammad Ali has lost his voice

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Lonnie Ali: It's a tragedy Muhammad Ali has lost his voice

Lonnie Ali says it's a "tragedy" the world can no longer see the great man her husband Muhammad Ali is because of his Parkinson's disease.

Lonnie - who married Muhammad in 1986 and is his fourth wife - knows the world remembers her spouse as a fast-talking champion in the boxing ring and a champion of human rights but she insists he is still the same man with the same principles he just doesn't have the voice to stand up for what he believes because it has been diminished by his illness.

Speaking to The Times newspaper, she said: "There are many times today that I wish his voice was stronger. That (he had that) ability to stand up and say things. That person is still in his belly ... the tragedy is that his illness means the world can't see it."

Lonnie also opened up on what life with Muhammad, 74, is like and revealed he loves watching himself on YouTube, and enjoys reminiscing on his greatest fights and memorable interviews.

She said: "He does have advanced Parkinson's disease so he is challenged, but he still is a positive person. We try to keep him engaged and connected to people, especially his family. The nature of the illness is that you become apathetic. The thing he loves most is watching himself on YouTube. He becomes so intense. It's as if he hasn't seen it before."

Numerous artefacts from Ali's life career are currently on show at The O2 in London for the 'I Am The Greatest: Muhammad Ali' exhibit.

Some of the most notable items on display include the 'People's Choice' robe presented to the former world heavyweight champion by Elvis Presley before his fight against Joe Bugner in 1973, signed boots from his 1976 fight with Jimmy Young and the glove which his trainer Angelo Dundee deliberately split before the fifth round of his infamous 1963 fight with British pugilist Henry Cooper to buy Ali sometime after he was knocked down in the fourth round.