Muhammad Ali Makes His Final Journey
Such tragic news over the weekend as the world learned boxing legend Muhammad Ali had died of septic shock, aged 74. He’d been battling Parkinson’s for more than 30 years.
His coffin has been taken to his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, where it was met by a cortege of funeral cars before being given a police escort to a local funeral home where the star’s body will be prepared for burial on Friday.
Thousands are expected to turn out for the public funeral. Bill Clinton, actor Billy Crystal and sports caster Bryant Gumbel will all give eulogies. It has also emerged Ali planned his funeral years ago. As the Mirror reports, Ali wanted a procession to carry his body down an avenue that bears his name, through his boyhood neighbourhood and down the same streets where he brought home a gold medal from the 1960 Olympics.
Close friend Tim Shanahan is quoted as saying: “Muhammad handled any setback with dignity. He never felt sorry for himself, never asked why me? He faced these setbacks as challenges. He’d tell me ‘Every day God tests me and every day I pass that test’. Muhammad wanted to achieve so much he refused to let an opponent like Parkinson’s stand in his way.”
Ali famously said ahead of the George Foreman fight in The Rumble in the Jungle, 1974: “Float like a butterfly sting like a bee - his hands can't hit what his eyes can't see."
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