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April 4, 2015

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Ali denies picking Pacquiao over Mayweather in big bout

BOXING legend Muhammad Ali isn’t in the prediction business when it comes to the May 2 mega-fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

A report on celebrity website TMZ this week quoted Ali’s daughter, Rasheda, as saying the former heavyweight world champion and civil rights activist “is Team Pacquiao all the way.”

“He knows Manny’s a great fighter ... but it’s more about what he does outside the ring. He’s such a charitable person,” the website quoted her as saying.

On Thursday, however, a statement from an Ali publicist posted on the Muhammad Ali Center website denied that the champ was backing either fighter. “Muhammad Ali would like to wish both Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao well in their upcoming fight on May 2,” the statement said.

“Muhammad never offered to anyone his prediction on the fight. Information that was published earlier this week and picked up by other media is either a misquote or someone else’s personal opinion.

“The stories saying that Muhammad Ali has chosen a favorite in the fight are false.”

Ali, who turned 73 in January and has battled Parkinson’s disease for decades, hasn’t attended a fight in years. He isn’t expected to be at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 2.


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