Laila Ali: I'm Happy Knowing My Father is Not Struggling Anymore

Laila Ali says she'll miss her legendary father deeply, but doesn't feel alone in her grief because "the whole world is sad."

The daughter of Muhammad Ali, who died Friday in Arizona at age 74 following a long battle with Parkinson's disease, tells NBC's "Today" show Monday that her father is "not suffering anymore." When asked whether he had grown weary of fighting the condition, Ali said death was one of the things her father feared and "he definitely wouldn't want to just move on."

Ali says she'll remember him as "a loving father," who "always puts children first." She says she just told her own children about their grandfather's death Monday morning.

Ali, a former boxing champion herself, says she shares her father's trademark confidence.


She also appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss her father's passing and his life.

"Obviously I'm sad, I'm going to miss my father, but I've been sad for a long time because my father's been struggling with Parkinson's for a long time," Ali said. "So I'm happy knowing that he's no longer struggling, and that's what gives me comfort."

"My dad was not only the best fighter ever, but also such a great man, and there will never be anyone else like him. And I think that anywhere you go in the world, people not only recognize him but also love him because of the man that he is. Because he stood up for his beliefs. He fought for those that couldn't speak up for themselves, and he'll truly be missed by all of us."

Laili, who retired with an undefeated 24-0 record in 2007, said her father tried to persuade her not to become a fighter.

"He tried to talk me out of it indirectly, but obviously I did what I wanted to do, and he knew I was going to do what I wanted to do. He had so much respect for the fact that I did what I believed in, just like he did," Ali said.

"I knew in the beginning of my career ... if I start trying to be like my dad now, I'll never be able to stop. So I went about my own career in my own way -- and I love my dad, I love him, but I love me, too. So I wanted to do my own thing."

Tags: Muhammad Ali image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Kazakh Thunder on 06-06-2016


Comment by ChiCityExtractz on 06-06-2016

RIP, im praying I can even acquire a ticket to the funeral. Got to see him a few times when he was alive. Never been to the funeral of a folk hero. my fav move from his arsenal was Ali's…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (2)
Top Headlines Jose Ramirez's First Defense Targeted For Ballpark in Fresno Tyson Fury's New Goal - Break Joe Louis' 25 Defense Record News: Payano vs. Plania, Braulio Rodriguez, Vicente Eyes Dogboe Photos: Dillian Whyte, Lucas Browne, Frank Buglioni - Workouts Ramirez-Imam Tripleheader Averaged Only 488K Viewers for ESPN Anthony Joshua Won’t Discuss What He'll Weigh for Parker Fight News: Klara Svennson Update, Rocco Wadell Back on April 21 Billy Joe Saunders vs. Martin Murray Moves To June 23rd Parker on Joshua: Somebody is Getting KO'd - It Won't Be Me! Prograis Sees 'Lots of Holes' in Jose Ramirez, Respects His Chin Mikey Garcia Explains Why He'd Want Spence Bout Over Crawford Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam: Afterthoughts Liam Smith: I Think Ali Might Be Tougher Fight Than Miguel Cotto Hughie Fury: I'll Be World Champion, I'm a World Level Fighter! Kudratillo Abdukakhorov Rising in Ranks After Malaysia Win Whyte Shakes Head: Joshua is Not Going To Fight Wilder Next Sanchez: If Canelo Dominates Golovkin, I'll Admit GGG Got Old Ismael Salas Denies Rumors of Split With Jorge Linares March Madness shocker yields memories of giant ring surprises Ellerbe Concerned, Would Advise Mayweather To Avoid MMA McGregor Opens as 10-1 Favorite in Mayweather MMA Fight Wilder: I'm Convinced Joshua, Hearn Are Definitely Scared of Me! Buitrago Pulled From Hard Rock Card Over Murder For Hire Beef Frampton Slams Quigg, Not Buying His Excuse For Missing Weight Golden Boy Matchmaker Reacts to 'Neno' Calling Out Ryan Garcia Kautondokwa is Ready For War on Namibian Independence Card Roach Impressed With Jose Ramirez, Wants to Improve Defense Lolenga Mock, Mogens Palle Part Ways Over Money Isaac Ekpo, Rafael Mensah Train With McKinley, Praise Don King Povetkin's Manager: Drug Tests in Order, No Worries For Price Alberto Melian Drills Countryman Julian Aristule in Two Rounds Felix Verdejo's Trainer Expects His Fighter To Return Stronger Michael Dutchover Continues Winning Run at Doubletree Joshua vs. Parker - Giuseppe Quartarone Confirmed as Referee Sadam Ali vs. Liam Smith Finalized For May 12, Turning Stone Anthony Crolla vs. Edson Ramirez Set For Joshua-Parker Card Photos: Whyte, Browne - Get Very Heated on 'Gloves Are Off' News: Sven Fornling, Brian Ceballo, Nikolai Potapov, More Daniel Jacobs vs. Maciej Sulecki - Undercard Information Arthur Abraham: I'm Not Ready To Retire, I Want World Title Again

Latest Active Forum Threads