MUHAM­MAD ALI: 1942-2016

In Touch (USA) - - Death news -

It was the fi­nal round of the last fight of his life. At 9:10 p.m. on June 3 — 30 min­utes af­ter his or­gans failed — Muham­mad Ali’s heart beat for the last time as he suc­cumbed to sep­tic shock at age 74 in a Phoenix hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing a 32-year bat­tle with Parkin­son’s dis­ease. Sur­rounded by his nine ac­knowl­edged chil­dren as well as fourth wife Lon­nie, 59, the box­ing champ, civil rights ac­tivist and an­ti­war ad­vo­cate drifted away. His daugh­ter Hana, 39, “was hold­ing his hand right be­fore he passed,” a fam­ily in­sider tells In Touch. “She told him it was OK, that he could go with the an­gels now, that his work here on Earth was fin­ished.” As the world says good­bye to the three-time world heavy­weight champ known sim­ply as The Great­est, In Touch has learned new de­tails about his com­pli­cated and drama-filled life. Not only is his sec­ond wife, Khalilah Ca­ma­cho-ali ( born Belinda Boyd), speak­ing out and telling all about the boxer’s tu­mul­tuous fam­ily life, but in­sid­ers are shed-

ding new light on the shock­ing se­crets he took to the grave. “You set your di­rec­tion and you make your choices, and a lot of the time they’re not the best choices,” Khalilah, 66, tells In Touch, de­scrib­ing the flawed man ( born Cas­sius Mar­cel­lus Clay) she left but never stopped car­ing for. “We all make mis­takes in our lives.” Muham­mad made what Khalilah calls “the big­gest mis­take ever” dur­ing their nearly decade­long mar­riage when he cheated on her with Veron­ica Porche, 60, his mis­tress who would be­come his third wife. “I let him go,” Khalilah says of mov­ing on from the mar­riage. “But I’m not mad at Muham­mad for all the wrong he’s done to me.”

Khalilah also has lit­tle love for Muham­mad’s fourth and last wife, Lon­nie. He mar­ried her in 1986, two years af­ter his Parkin­son’s dis­ease di­ag­no­sis. “She hasn’t been a very kind per­son,” says Khalilah, who claims Lon­nie drove a wedge be­tween Muham­mad and Khalilah’s son Muham­mad Jr. — who re­vealed be­fore Ali Sr.’s death he hadn’t spo­ken to his fa­mous fa­ther in two years and was liv­ing on food stamps in a bad part of Chicago. “Lon­nie’s the one who was keep­ing him away from Ali. He’s al­ways loved his son.”

But at the end, Muham­mad Jr. was at his fa­ther’s bed­side as he took his fi­nal breaths. While Muham­mad may have found clo­sure with his son, other as­pects of his life still haunted him. Ac­cord­ing to a box­ing source, “I was told by Lon­nie that Ali was still deeply dis­turbed by how he had treated Joe Frazier around the time of their bouts. And Muham­mad felt their pub­lic rec­on­cil­i­a­tion [in 2009] was grudg­ing and not truly felt.”

Muham­mad also has fam­ily se­crets that may come out. It all could lead to a bat­tle for his es­tate, es­ti­mated at $80 mil­lion. “He had many wives and many kids,” but even more chil­dren than any­one knew, says an in­sider. He se­cretly fa­thered kids in Zaire dur­ing train­ing camp for the world­fa­mous fight in 1974 against Ge­orge Fore­man known as the Rum­ble in the Jun­gle. Adds the in­sider: “Though Ali was mar­ried to his sec­ond wife at the time, he kept a harem of four women dur­ing his camp in Africa. He later mar­ried one of them — Veron­ica. But a cou­ple had kids by Ali, though they were al­ways kept in the back­ground.”

Khalilah says she will fo­cus on re­mem­ber­ing “the good” about her ex. “Muham­mad might have had his mo­ments but he was al­ways happy and giv­ing and lov­ing with [ his] kids, and he’ll be my hero for his box­ing for­ever,” she says. “I’m just glad his pain is over, and hope­fully he’s in par­adise.” ■

The box­ing great’s sec­ond wife speaks out as In Touch un­cov­ers se­crets he took to his grave


Be­fore Parkin­son’s dis­ease weak­ened Muham­mad, “He told friends how he re­gret­ted how he han­dled his per­sonal life,” says an in­sider. “He would say, ‘I had too many women, wives and chil­dren.’” The box­ing great’s sec­ond wife was Khalilah Ca­ma­cho-ali (right, circa 1967).

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