Muhammad Ali’s doctor says the iconic boxer had been “having a tough time in the last year” before his death.
The three-time world heavyweight champion, who had Parkinson’s disease for 32 years, died aged 74 from “septic shock due to unspecified natural causes” according to his family.
“The last week has been particularly tough,” said Abraham Lieberman, who was with Ali only hours before he died.
“It became apparent God wanted him and we all became reconciled to it.”
Lieberman told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek: “Everyone in the back of their minds expected something bad was going to happen but you always hope you will beat the odds because he is someone who always beat the odds – he is not an ordinary person.
“He stood up for his beliefs and what he thought was right. He treated everybody from the humblest person to the biggest celebrity the same – which was fair.
“You could not believe how nice he was outside the ring compared to the way he was inside the ring. I lost a great friend.”