Melbourne: Hollywood star Will Smith, who portrayed Muhammad Ali in the biopic ‘Ali,’ will be among the eight pallbearers to carry the late boxing-champion’s coffin at a memorial service on June 10.
The 47-year-old actor will be joined by former world heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis, as well as friends and family of ‘The Greatest, reports News.com.au.
Smith’s portrayal of the legendary boxer in the 2001 brought him an Oscar nomination.
Smith posted a touching tribute to Ali at the weekend, saying the three-time heavyweight champion “shook up the world”.
“You shook up the World! My Mentor & My Friend. You changed my Life. Rest in Peace,” Smith wrote on Facebook.
Two public memorial services will be held on June 9 and 10 in stadiums in Ali’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky where more than 30,000 tickets will be distributed for the public.
The legendary boxer passed away at the age of 74 after losing his long-standing battle against Parkinson’s disease on June 3 (US Time).
The former three-time world heavyweight champion, who was admitted to a hospital in Phoenix, the United States with a respiratory problem, breathed his last surrounded by his family and friends.
According to news.com.au, Ali’s family spokesperson Bob Gunnell has confirmed the news while asking for privacy at this time.
Ali, who is also known for his civil rights activism, had been hospitalised multiple times in recent years, including spending time in hospital in 2014 after suffering a mild pneumonia before being admitted again for a urinary tract infection last year.
The iconic figure, who also won an Olympic gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the 1980s.
Ali took retirement from his illustrious career after a defeat against Trevor Berbick in 1981.(ANI)