9:30 pm Pacific: Muhammad Ali has died. God rest his soul. He will always be a hero and a beacon to me. Earlier: There have been odd reports in recent years that former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali was near death, only to prove untrue. Now Radar Online is reporting that the Parkinsons-afflicted Ali, 74, is grappling with respiratory problems in the Phoenix area and that the situation may be more grave. I love Muhammad Ali if he makes it through, and I love him if he doesn’t. He’s the most inspiring athlete of my life, and never more so than in that legendary 1974 championship bout with George Foreman — the Rumble in the Jungle.