Style & ShowbizShowbiz

Michael J. Fox praises Muhammad Ali

Michael J. Fox praises Muhammad Ali

Michael J. Fox has praised Muhammad Ali for his "class and stoicism" in his fight against Parkinson's disease.

Muhammad was diagnosed with the neurological disorder in 1984 while Michael discovered he had Parkinson's in 1991 and the pair joined forces to raise awareness and funds for research and Michael said having Ali "in his corner" was a boost.

Speaking on the 'Today' show, he said: "Before I was diagnosed with Parkinson's, I admired him and I admired his athleticism, his poise, his class, his style, his stoicism, his belief in what he thought was right. [But] to have actually met him and joined with him in a common cause, in a common fight was ... I mean, who else would you want in your corner?"

"[One during a phone call] Ali was quiet for a while. And then he said in a very soft voice, 'I'm glad you're in this fight with me.' It was just a formative moment in my life. I realized that we were all part of something bigger."

Following the legendary professional boxer's death on Friday (03.06.16) at the age of 74 from septic shock, Michael took to Twitter to pay tribute to him.

He wrote: "Ali, the G-O-A-T. A giant, an inspiration, a man of peace, a warrior for the cure. Thank you (sic)"

And he later added in a statement: "Muhammad was a true legend - a champion in the boxing ring, and a champion for millions of Parkinson's families. We looked up to him as an example of grace and courage in the face of great challenges. He will be missed."

It was previously revealed that the boxer was told he'd have just 10 years to live when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease but his positive mindset allowed him to beat the odds and live for another 32 years.

Ali's close friend Tim Shanahan said: "Muhammad handled any setback with dignity. He never felt sorry for himself, never asked why me? He faced these setbacks as challenges. He'd tell me 'Everyday God tests me and everyday I pass that test.'

"Muhammad wanted to achieve so much he refused to let an opponent like Parkinson's stand in his way.

"He say 'Tim, do you remember when the UCLA doctors told me that I had Parkinson's and I had 10 years to live, maybe 15? Well, I am still in the fight 30 years on and I shook up the world again.' "