Lewis and Smith to be Ali pallbearers

Lennox Lewis and Muhammad Ali

Lennox Lewis was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1999 after beating Evander Holyfield to become undisputed heavyweight world champion, the same year Muhammad Ali was honoured as BBC Sports Personality of the Century

Britain’s former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and actor Will Smith will be pallbearers at Muhammad Ali’s funeral on Friday.

London-born Lewis, 50, became undisputed world champion in 1999, while American Smith, 47, played Ali in the 2001 film of the same name.

Three-time heavyweight world champion Ali died last Friday at the age of 74 in hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.

His funeral will be held in his home town of Louisville, Kentucky.


Will Smith was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Muhammad Ali

The other pallbearers will be Jerry Ellis, the brother of Jimmy Ellis, Ali’s former sparring partner and fellow world heavyweight champion, Ali’s cousins John Grady and Jan Wadell, nephew Ibn Ali, former brother-in-law Komawi Ali and family friend John Ramsey.

Friday’s service, which will be attended by a number of world leaders, heads of state and celebrities, will be open to the public and streamed live on the internet. It starts at 19:00 BST.

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