“Truly a cultural icon, Ali’s passion, skill, intelligence and wit gave him a global appeal unmatched by few, if any, other sporting figures and inspired millions.”

–Should it be ‘unmatched by any other sporting figures’ (= not equalled; peerless’) or you agree with the original construction (=‘not equalled\matched by few, if any, other sporting figures’?
(In another words, ‘by few, if any’ sounds a bit confusing to me.)

He cannot just say ‘unmatched by any’ as he isn’t sure.
As written he has indicated that there may be a few people to equal him, but there are probably not any.