Laila Ali had ‘special bond’ with father Muhammad Ali
Laila Ali shared a "special connection" with her father Muhammad Ali that none of her other siblings had.
The retired professional boxer is convinced she was closer to her dad – who tragically passed away earlier this month aged 74 – than any of her brothers and sisters because they both shared a passion for the combat sport.
Speaking to ‘Entertainment Tonight’, the 38-year-old beauty said: "We all had a connection with our father, but mine, unlike any other, because we both did the same thing. We’ve both been hit upside the head, and hit some people upside the head, and it’s a whole different thing."
However, although they shared something "unlike any other", Laila has admitted she and the sporting legend had locked horns on numerous occasions over the years but believes that just led to them having more respect for one another.
She said: "We’ve bumped heads over the years. But we had so much respect for one another, and that’s something I’ll cherish and always respect with my father."
Ali – who tragically passed away on June 3 following a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease – was laid to rest on Friday (06.10.16) in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
Thousands of fans, fellow celebrities and preachers from a number of different faiths around the world gathered at the site to pay their respects to the iconic sportsman.
Laila took to her Instagram account the day after the funeral to thank fans for the "love and support" they’ve dished out to her family since the news of Ali’s passing broke.
The sporting beauty uploaded a collage of her father on her Facebook account alongside the heartfelt caption: "Thanks for all of the love and support that has always been given to my father and my family! I truly appreciate all of your messages and condolences! I know wherever you are, you are surrounded by LOVE & LIGHT! (sic)."
Ali leaves behind daughters Laila, Rasheda, Hana, Maryum, Jamillah, Khaliah and Miya, as well as sons Muhammad Jr and Asaad.