Laila Ali Opens Up: 'I Personally Have Been Sad For A Long Time'

Laila Ali reflects on her father's legacy in a recent interview.

Muhammad Ali’s daughter, Laila Ali, says she doesn’t "feel alone" following the death of her father on June 3.

During an appearance on the "Today Show" on Monday morning the retired professional boxer shared her thoughts on the loss of her father and his 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease.

"I personally have been sad for a long time. My father has been struggling with Parkinson's disease for many years, and it wasn’t easy to watch him suffer through the years. So, knowing that he's not suffering anymore is what gives me comfort," she told "Today" host Matt Lauer. "I've prepared mentally for many years, that obviously one day I was going to lose my father and that time has come. And I think that the whole world is sad… I don't feel alone. It's not just our family, it's the whole world."

As for her thoughts on her father’s unwavering confidence, Ali said she’s unsure where the boxing legend picked it up, but feels it is something that she has acquired through the years, too.

"It was passed down to him from somewhere, but I think a lot of that comes from just having someone in your life that puts that idea in your head that you can do whatever it is that you wanna do," she said. "My parents both did it for me. There's also parents that tell their kids that they can't do something and they put that fear in their head. So I think once you go out and you’re willing to work hard and put in the work and you do what you thought you could do it gives you more confidence to keep going. And that's what holds a lot of people back in life."

The 38-year-old went on to add that she’s glad her father was able to touch and uplift so many lives around the world because people "need inspiration from others to make them strong in areas that they're not naturally strong."

Muslim funeral prayer service will be held at Freedom Hall on Thursday, in Ali's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, followed by a memorial service on Friday.

Check out more of Laila Ali’s thoughts on her father’s legacy in the clip above.



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