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Funeral: Relatives, Friends, Colleagues Pay Last Respect To World Boxing Icon

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BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Family, friends and fans from different parts of the world are set to pay their last respect and bid farewell to the world boxing icon Muhammad Ali in his US home city of Louisville, Kentucky.

A procession is billed to take Ali’s body past key sites in his life, ahead of an interfaith memorial service.
Expectedly, tens of thousands are to line the streets for the procession, while free tickets for the 18,000-strong memorial service, taking place at a major sports centre, were snapped up within half an hour.

Actor Will Smith and ex-boxer Lennox Lewis are leading the packs of relatives, colleagues and friends as the pallbearers. While President Barrack Obama will be absent at the historic burial, as he is billed to attend his eldest daughter Malia’s graduation, one of his predecessors, Bill Clinton is scheduled to deliver one of the eulogies.

Similarly, Comedian Billy Crystal is also expected to deliver a eulogy, while a sports journalist Bryant Gumbel and the daughter of civil rights activist Malcolm X, Attallah Shabazz; Ali’s wife, Lonnie; daughters, Moryam and Rasheda are also expected to speak.

The burial service is expected to be graced by other key international personalities, such as King Abdullah of Jordan. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended Thursday’s prayer ceremony, but has since cut short his visit to the US for an undisclosed reason.

Ali who fought 61 times with 53 win, including 37 knockouts died last Friday at age 74, while still battling with an ailment – Dementia Pugilistica in the last three decades.

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