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George Foreman, Larry Holmes Join Lewis as Pallbearers For Ali

Boxing greats George Foreman and Larry Holmes have been named among the honorary pallbearers for Muhammad Ali's memorial service on Friday.

They will be joined by Louisville mayor Harvey Sloane, former Kentucky governor John Y Brown and Ali's brother, Rahaman Ali, in a group of 14 people in total, family spokesman Bob Gunnell.

It was announced earlier this week that actor Will Smith, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Ali in the 2001 movie of his life, and former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis will be pallbearers at the funeral.

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About 14,000 people are expected for the service Thursday, which will be broadcast on TV and streamed live online.

Organizers say the service, or Jenazah prayer, is open to all, but meant especially as a chance for Muslims to say goodbye to a man considered a hero of their faith.

Ali, who died Friday at 74, joined the black separatist Nation of Islam as a young athlete, then embraced mainstream Islam years later.

An interfaith memorial service is planned for Friday, which will include representatives of several religions, including Jews and Christians.

The schedule for Ali's services are as followed:

Thursday:

12 p.m. -- The Muslim prayer service known as Jenazah prayer.

Friday:

9 a.m. ET -- Procession through the streets of Louisville

2 p.m. ET -- Public memorial service at the KFC Yum! Center.

Ali, who long ago began crafting the plan for his final tribute, insisted the tickets for his memorial service be free. But on Wednesday, after the tickets were handed out, some people looked to make a profit.

People started arriving outside the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville late Tuesday, hours ahead of the ticket distribution. The line stretched around the arena. Thousands of tickets for Ali's memorial service Friday were claimed on a first-come, first-served basis in about an hour.

Many fans of the boxing great flashed smiles, and some danced, upon getting their four-ticket allotments to be part of history. Thousands of others left empty-handed.

Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell denounced the profiteering.

"I'm personally disgusted and amazed that someone would try to profit off of Muhammad Ali's memorial service," he said. "I hope that those buying tickets or trying to buy tickets would stop those efforts by not purchasing," he added. "Muhammad Ali wanted this to be a free event, an event that was open to all."

Ali and his innermost circle started a document years ago that grew so thick they began calling it "The Book." In the pages, the boxing great planned in exacting detail how he wished to say goodbye to the world.

"The message that we'll be sending out is not our message -- this was really designed by The Champ himself," said Timothy Gianotti, an Islamic studies scholar who for years helped to plan the services.

"The love and the reverence and the inclusivity that we're going to experience over the coming days is really a reflection of his message to the people of planet Earth."

Ali wanted the memorial service in an arena. He wanted multiple religions to have a voice while honoring the traditions of his Muslim faith. And he wanted ordinary fans to attend, not just VIPs.

He was never downcast when talking about his death, said Gunnell. He recalled Ali's own words during meetings planning the funeral: "It's okay. We're here to do the job the way I want it. It's fine."

The final revisions were made days before Ali died Friday at an Arizona hospital, his family by his side.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by La_Vibora on 06-09-2016

Yes how can you not have Tyson there? Btw, are tickets to this memorial available on stubhub?

Comment by Eff Pandas on 06-09-2016

P4P ATG pallbearers list right here. Impressive. And yea Tyson should be here too. Tyson loved Ali & Ali helped impact his life in a positive direction. Granted Tyson is balls of **** crazy so idk if you wanna risk…

Comment by Nomadic on 06-09-2016

Suprised no one is selling tickets on here yet.

Comment by Cinci Champ on 06-09-2016

im surprised tyson is not involved

Comment by bigjer88 on 06-09-2016

This will give Holmes another chance to remind the world why he was better than Ali.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (5)
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