Muhammad Ali's ex-wife recently opened up about what it was like being married to the boxing champ during his most trying years.
Khalilah Camacho Ali spoke at a Television Critics Association panel Tuesday about PBS’s new documentary, “Trials of Muhammad Ali."
Camacho Ali, who married the boxer in 1967, said their 10-year marriage was "the best time of my entire life," reports The Wrap.
“See, you guys don’t realize Ali wasn’t the great Muhammad Ali as he is now. He was going in that direction. He was struggling in that direction. He was struggling with people taking everything from him and I was the only thing that held everything together," she said.
Ali said she used her own money to support him for three years, but offered him emotional support as well.
"You know, I kind of guided him along the way, and it was it was a wonderful struggle, and it was tough for him. He was depressed most of the time. He was unhappy, didn’t know what the hell was going to happen to him. So I had to give him that positiveness, that positive 'Hey, you can have a family. We can do this together. I could write the speeches, and you could speak the speeches, and we’ll become a people’s champ,'" she said.
The pair's marriage -- which ended in 1977 -- experienced highs and lows. Ali's evasion of the Vietnam draft cost him his boxing title, a decision later overturned by the Supreme Court in 1971. During their marriage, the boxer also reclaimed his heavyweight title in a 1974 match against George Foreman. The couple had four children together.
In recent years, Ali has been in the spotlight for his struggle with Parkinson's Disease. He is currently married to Yolanda Williams, his fourth wife. In 1999, he was deemed "Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated and is regarded as one of the greatest athletes of our time.
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