Muhammad Ali Memorial Service Draws Thousands Of Fans & Friends

Crowds gathered early in Louisville, Ky., for the interfaith memorial service for boxing icon Muhammad Ali.

A procession began at 9 a.m. today, with actor Will Smith and former boxing champs Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis serving as pallbearers. The procession will wind its way through the city to the KFC Yum! Center, where a memorial service for 30,000 guests is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. Update: The service has been pushed back to 3 p.m., according to the Associated Press.

KFC Yum Center
Crowds outside the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville for the Muhammad Ali memorial service.
CREDIT: AP Images.
Muhammad Ali Memorial
People lining the procession route for the Muhammad Ali memorial service.
CREDIT: AP Images.

Former president Bill Clinton is expected to eulogize the Louisville legend, along with sportscaster Bryant Gumbel and actor Billy Crystal, who became friends with Ali after doing an imitation of him at a benefit in the 1970s.

Ali — born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. — died on June 3 at a Phoenix area hospital at the age of 74.

The legendary boxer finished his pro career with a 56-5 record, with 37 knockouts, and he engaged in some of the sport’s most celebrated bouts, most notably 1975’s “Thrilla in Manila” against “Smokin’ ” Joe Frazier.

He was also an outspoken social activist, taking part in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s.

Muhammad Ali Thrilla in Manila
Muhammad Ali in the ring with Joe Frazier during the “Thrilla in Manila.”

Want More?

Boxing Icon Muhammad Ali Dies At 74

Laila Ali And Shari Belafonte Talk About Challenges, Past And Present

Under Armour Partners With USA Boxing

AGL Sponsored By AGL

Differentiating Through Data and Design

Footwear brand AGL puts forth a contemporary and cool aesthetic rooted in quality and Italian craftsmanship.
Learn More

Access exclusive content