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Daughter denies Ali 'near death'

Muhammad Ali's daughter has dismissed rumours of the heavyweight boxing legend dubbed The Greatest being near death, saying he was at home watching the Super Bowl.

May May Ali said she talked to her father on the phone on Sunday morning and he was fine.

She said he was watching the Super Bowl at home in Arizona, wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey.

"He's fine, in fact he was talking well this morning," she said. "These rumours pop up every once in a while but there's nothing to them."

The rumours were started by a British tabloid newspaper report quoting Ali's brother, Rahman, as saying the 71-year-old former champion, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, was near death.

Rahman, though, said he had not seen his brother since last summer and had no contact with the family.

The report was widely repeated on the internet, drawing expressions of condolences on Twitter and Facebook.

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