Ac­tor starred as the boxer in 2001 film

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Will Smith, who por­trayed Muham­mad Ali in the 2001 movie Ali, has been named as one of the eight pall­bear­ers for the boxer’s memo­rial ser­vice on Fri­day in Louisville, Ken­tucky.

In a city ac­cus­tomed to cap­tur­ing the world’s at­ten­tion for just two min­utes dur­ing the Ken­tucky Derby each year, Ali’s memo­rial ser­vice looms as one of the most his­toric events in Louisville's his­tory.

For­mer pres­i­dents, heads of na­tions from around the globe, movie stars and sports greats will de­scend upon the city to pay fi­nal re­spects to The Louisville Lip.

As well as Smith, for­mer world heavy­weight cham­pion Len­nox Lewis has also been named as one of the eight pall­bear­ers. Also serv­ing are Jerry El­lis, brother of Jimmy El­lis, who was Ali’s for­mer spar­ring part­ner and for­mer world cham­pion; and sev­eral of Ali’s rel­a­tives and a friend from Louisville.

For­mer US Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton, a long-time friend of Ali, will de­liver the eu­logy at the fu­neral be­ing held at the KFC Yum! Cen­tre, where the 15,000 seats are likely to be filled.

“It’s been a re­ally bit­ter­sweet time for our city,” said Greg Fis­cher, mayor of Louisville.

“We’ve all been dread­ing the pass­ing of The Champ, but at the same time we knew ul­ti­mately it would come. It was self­ish for us to think that we could hold on to him for­ever.

“Our job now, as a city, is to send him off with the class and dig­nity and re­spect that he de­serves.”

Oth­ers speak­ers will in­clude rep­re­sen­ta­tives of mul­ti­ple faiths, in­clud­ing Is­lam, Ju­daism, Chris­tian­ity, Bud­dhism and Mor­monism.

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