Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Lennox Lewis, Will Smith Will Be Pallbearers at Ali's Funeral

Former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis will be a pallbearer at Muhammad Ali's funeral, along with Hollywood star Will Smith.

The funeral is to be held in his hometown of Louisville at 2pm local time on Friday.

Lewis, who reigned as undisputed world heavyweight champion after beating Evander Holyfield in 1999, was on Monday night named as a pallbearer - as was Smith, who was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Ali in the 2001 film of the same name.

The other pallbearers will be Jerry Ellis - the brother of Jimmy Ellis, Ali's former sparring partner and fellow world heavyweight champion - and Ali's cousins John Grady and Jan Wadell, nephew Ibn Ali, former brother-in-law Komawi Ali and family friend John Ramsey.

Ali, formerly named Cassius Clay, died in Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of 74 on Friday evening local time. He had been admitted to hospital earlier in the week with a respiratory condition having suffered with Parkinson's disease for 32 years. His family said in a statement that he died from complications related to his condition.

boxing

The memorial service, at the KFC YUM! Centre in the Kentucky city, will be open to the public and streamed live on the internet for those unable to attend.

It will be preceded by a Jenazah - an Islamic funeral prayer programme - also for the public at midday on Thursday at the Freedom Hall, where Ali made his professional debut with victory over Tunney Hunsaker in 1960 and fought for the last time in Louisville against Willi Besmanoff a year later.

Among the speakers at "The Greatest's" funeral will be Malcolm X's daughter Attalah Shabazz, wife Lonnie Ali, eldest daughter Maryum, American actor Billy Crystal, former US president Bill Clinton and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey.

"Everything that we're doing here was blessed by Muhammad Ali, and was requested," said family spokesman Bob Gunnell, who broke the news of the former world heavyweight champion's death.

"He wanted the memorial service to reflect his life, and how he lived. He wanted everyone to be able to attend. He was the people's champ, and he wanted the memorial service to reflect that.

"We want this to be inclusive of everyone. That's why we set Freedom Hall - not just with its historical significance but with the size of Freedom Hall, so that everyone fits in.

"That Muslims and people of all faiths could attend, and perhaps learn more and be like Muhammad Ali, and open their hearts to everybody.

"This is not a political statement, this is not about politics, this is about how Muhammad Ali lived his life."

Since Ali's death, tributes have been as widespread as they have been heartfelt, with one-time rival George Foreman and long-term friend and business manager Gene Kilroy among those to tell Press Association Sport of their sense of loss.

"Each time one of us leaves, I tell everybody: Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, we were really just one guy," Foreman said. "And every time one slips away, you feel like you've lost a piece, and Muhammad Ali was the greatest piece of all."

Tags: Muhammad Ali image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by LacedUp on 06-07-2016

I guess what was said about Rahman Ali was true then. Sad.

Comment by Kris Silver on 06-07-2016

God were like the gossiping folk at the back of a funeral here “Why is so and so a pall bearer, mahamamamaa”. None of our business fella’s, we don’t own Ali or any input. His family would have either directly…

Comment by Weltschmerz on 06-07-2016

[QUOTE=deathofaclown;16769965]Haha that actually went through my mind. When my old man died, we had to think of a good excuse as to why his friend couldn't be one. Me and the others doing it were about 6'1 roughly and his…

Comment by deathofaclown on 06-07-2016

[QUOTE=Weltschmerz;16769946]This is not meant as a joke but maybe Tyson is too short.[/QUOTE] Haha that actually went through my mind. When my old man died, we had to think of a good excuse as to why his friend couldn't be…

Comment by Weltschmerz on 06-06-2016

[QUOTE=deathofaclown;16769521]I was wondering that too. If i was going to think of any fighter of the last 20/30 years that it would be, i'd have thought Tyson. Ali and Tyson seemed to get along and in the very few interviews…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (10)
Top Headlines Julian Williams vs. Ishe Smith - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Lionell Thompson Drops, Shocks Earl Newman With Points Win Tugstsogt Nyambayar Gets Off The Floor, Decisions Dela Torre De La Hoya on McGregor: It Took Mayweather 10, I Only Need 2! Photos: Oscar De La Hoya Foundation Annual Turkey Giveaway Frampton: That Got The Cobwebs Off, Now I Want The Big Guys! Tomasz Adamek Decisions Fred Kassi Over Ten Rounds Carl Frampton Wins Tough Decision Over Horacio Garcia BWAA Announce a Women's Fighter of The Year Award Jerwin Ancajas Batters, Stops Jamie Conlan in Sixth Round Paddy Barnes Breaks Down, Stops Eliecer Quezada Jono Carroll Claims Vacant IBF Regional Belt With TKO Win Alex Dickinson Gets Decision Win on Frampton Card in Belfast Tomasz Adamek vs. Fred Kassi - LIVE Results From Poland Zolani Tete With Brutal Knockout of Gonya in 11 Seconds! Carl Frampton vs. Horacio Garcia - Early Results From Belfast Ishe Smith: I Would Have Fought Julian Williams in Philly Giovani Santillan Picks Up Stoppage Victory in Ontario Tyron Zeuge Sidelined With Illness, Ekpo Rematch Pushed Back Julian Williams Mentally Prepared For 'Road Game' With Smith Joe Gallagher Pleads: No Callum Smith vs. Braehmer in Germany Carl Frampton: I Feel I Can Stop Any Featherweight in The World Sadam Ali: Moving Up, Fighting Legendary Cotto "a Little Scary" Parker: Joshua's Chin is a Weakness; I Can Knock Him Out! Frank Warren: I Spoke To Haymon About Santa Cruz-Frampton 3 Jerwin Ancajas - The Traveling Man is Back on The Road Felix Cash, Ted Cheeseman Added To Taylor-McCaskill Card Haye: With New Coach I Feel Better Than I Have in Many Years Wilder: I'll Talk Until Joshua Wants To Shut This American Boy Up! Igor Mikhalkin vs. Doudou Ngumbu Trilogy on December 2 Carl Frampton: This Part of My Career Could Be The Biggest Yet Anthony Dirrell: I'm Now Ready To Face Anyone With a Belt Oscar De La Hoya's Hypocrisy is All About Floyd Mayweather Anthony Dirrell Cut Badly, Beats Douglin by Technical Decision Clark Edges Dolton By Majority Decision; Karl Beats Martin Parker: I Would Not Have Problems Knocking Wilder, Joshua Out! Liam Smith Keeps Close Eye on Cotto-Ali, Open To Kell Brook Clash Klitschko Leaves The Door Open For a Ring Return in The Future Video: Ellerbe Talks UFC Doing Boxing, Mayweather Promotions Photos: Ishe Smith, Julian Williams Face To Face at Weigh-In
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement