Muhammad Ali’s Funeral: Live Streaming / Tributes
He keeps his fists too low for a boxer, the critics say. He pulls away from punches instead of bobbing and weaving, and he leans on the rope like he was on dope.
Whether there was method in his madness or madness in his method, one thing was certain: boxing icon Muhammad Ali was one of a kind.
The three-time heavy weight champ was a man in control – on and off the ring – and fans of the late icon should expect no less during his funeral at the historic Cave Hill Cemetery in his hometown in Louisville, Kentucky.
From a city-sponsored cultural festival Wednesday to an Islamic funeral prayer program Thursday and a star-studded public memorial service Friday featuring such dignitaries as former US President Bill Clinton, British heavyweight great Lennox Lewis and actor Will Smith, Ali had the funeral covered.
“The plans are specified by Muhammad Ali, that’s the bottom line,” said Ali family spokesperson Bob Gunnell.
“What you’re seeing are Muhammad’s wishes and he had a hand in all the planning.”
Friday’s closing programme, ia an inter-faith service at Louisville’s 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center, and will feature eulogies from comedian Billy Crystal, TV Star Bryant Gumbel and Clinton, while US President Barack Obama will be represented by senior advisor Valerie Jarret – who knew Ali personally.
Other dignitaries who will be attending the event are Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Abdullah II of Jordan.
There will be a poetry reading by Attallah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s eldest daughter.
2:00 p.m.(WAT) — Procession through the streets of Louisville
7:oo p.m.(WAT) — Public memorial service at the KFC Yum! Center.
Will Smith, Hollywood actor who is a family friend and who also played the legendary boxer in the blockbuster movie ALI.
Lennox Lewis, former heavyweight champion of the world who was a favourite of the Greatest.
George Foreman, former heavyweight champion of the world who lost to Ali in the famous Rumble in the Jungle.
Larry Holmes, defeated Ali in the legend’s twilight years.
John Grady (Ali’s cousin), Ibn Ali-Muhammad (Ali’s nephew), Komawi Ali-Muhammad (former brother-in-law), Jan Wadell-Muhammad (cousin), John Ramsey-Muhammad (Ali’s friend).
Ali’s Immediate Family
Wife: Lonnie Ali
Daughters: Laila Ali, Rasheda Ali, Hana Ali, Maryum Ali, Jamilah Ali, Khaliah Ali, Miya Ali, Kiiursten Mensah Ali (His Ghanaian child)
Sons: Muhammad Ali Jr., Asaad Amin Ali
Tributes From Around the World
“Without question his legacy is one that he defied the odds because he stood up for what he believed in and when he was put to the test he took personal harm rather than go against his beliefs and what he stood for.” — Don King, Boxing promoter
“This is a sad day for me — and for the world. Muhammad Ali was bigger than sports and larger than life. He said he was ‘The Greatest’ and he was right. He was the greatest of his era in the ring and a global icon in sports.” NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan
“I gave Ali the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 and wondered aloud how he stayed so pretty throughout so many fights. It probably had to do with his beautiful soul. He was a fierce fighter and he’s a man of peace, just like Odessa and Cassius Clay Sr., believed their son could be.” — Former US President George W. Bush
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