Los Angeles: Muhammad Ali’s funeral is set to be one of the biggest events in TV history with a worldwide audience of billions expected to watch the boxing legend’s final journey.
The three-time world heavyweight champion, who battled Parkinson’s disease for 32 years, died in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday after being admitted to hospital with a respiratory condition.
His funeral will take place later on Friday in his home town of Louisville, Kentucky, where flags have been flying at half-mast in tribute to him since his death was announced.
His body will pass the Muhammad Ali Centre, travel along Muhammad Ali Boulevard and through his former neighbourhood. The funeral procession will end at Cave Hill cemetery for a private family ceremony, reports mirror.co.uk. Eulogies will be led by former US president Bill Clinton, actor Billy Crystal and American sportscaster Bryant Gumbel. The service will also be shown online.
Family spokesman Bob Gunnell said: “Muhammad Ali was truly the people’s champion and the celebration will reflect his devotion to all races, religions, and backgrounds. Muhammad Ali’s extraordinary boxing career only encompassed half of his life. The other half was committed to sharing a message of people and inclusion with the world.”
“Following his wishes, his funeral will reflect those principles and be a celebration open to everyone.”