Will Smith, Lennox Lewis Among The Pallbearers For Muhammad Ali’s Funeral
ESPN reports that Will Smith and boxer Lennox Lewis are among the eight pallbearers who will carry the casket of Muhammad Ali during his public memorial service at the KFC Yum! Center in Ali’s hometown of Louisville, Ky.
Smith garnered his first Academy Award nomination for portraying the legendary boxer in the 2001 biopic, Ali. Lewis was a former heavyweight champion of the world and an Olympic gold medalist, just like Ali. The other pallbearers are close friends and members of Ali’s family, including his cousin, nephew and the brother of his former sparring partner. Eulogists at the service will include daughter Laila Ali, comedian Billy Crystal, journalist/broadcaster Bryant Gumbel and former President Bill Clinton.
Ali passed away on Friday, June 3, at the age of 74 from septic shock due to unspecified causes. Ali also struggled with Parkinson’s Disease since 1984.
Tickets for Friday’s memorial event, which is open to the public, begins Wednesday (June 8) at 10 a.m. There is a maximum of four tickets per request, and are given on a first come, first serve basis. The memorial service itself begins at 2 p.m., and follows a Thursday prayer service at Louisville’s Freedom Hall Arena.
Laila Ali was interviewed for the Today show regarding her father’s passing on Monday (June 6). Although she is upset, she is given solace in the fact that her father is no longer in pain.
“I know he’s in a better place now and he’s talking again and moving again and doing all the things that he couldn’t do in his body,” she said. “I’m happy for that even though I will miss him deeply.”