Boxing: Muhammad Ali in hospital with respiratory problem - spokesman

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali in the ring after the World Championship in Berlin, on Dec 17, 2005.
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali in the ring after the World Championship in Berlin, on Dec 17, 2005.PHOTO: EPA

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has been hospitalised for a respiratory issue, his spokesman said on Thursday.

The 74-year-old former heavyweight world champion, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, was in a "fair condition", a statement from spokesman Bob Gunnell said.

"A brief hospital stay is expected," Gunnell said.

"At this time, the Muhammad Ali family respectfully requests privacy."

ESPN reported that Ali had been hospitalised in Phoenix, where he now lives.

The three-time heavyweight champion, who retired from the ring in 1981 after a defeat to Trevor Berbick, has been hospitalised multiple times in recent years.

He spent time in hospital in 2014 after suffering a case of mild pneumonia and again in 2015 for a urinary tract infection.