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The remains of Mohamed Ali are already in Louisville for his last goodbye (Video)

Mohamed Ali’s family accompanied the boxer’s remains on his return to his native Louisville, where a large crowd will bid farewell to ‘The Greatest’.
Former President Bill Clinton, actor Billy Crystal and sportswriter Bryant Gumbel will give funeral speeches in Louisville, where the three-time heavyweight champion of the world grew up and delivered his first punches.
The charismatic Ali, one of the most relevant personalities of the 20th century for his performance in and out of the ring, died on Friday at the age of 74 suffering from health problems derived from a battle against Parkinson’s disease that lasted more than three decades. .
“Ali is home now,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said on Twitter. A private plane transported the coffin with his remains and his relatives to the largest city in Kentucky from Arizona, where he died.
The coffin was taken to a funeral home, where dozens of admirers waited to pay their respects, the CBS-affiliated channel WKKY reported. In addition, an ecumenical church service was held in honor of Ali at the Islamic Center in Louisville. Ali had become a Muslim in the 1960s.
“Our hearts are hurt but we are happy that Dad is now free,” wrote one of his nine children, Hana, on Twitter. Mayor Fischer told AFP that the city – dressed in flowers, balloons and various tributes to his most famous son – was ready for this massive celebration.
“The Champion was a supernatural figure that transcended borders, sports and arts, passing through the humanitarian side, the whites and the blacks, the Christians and the Muslims. It belongs to the whole world, ”Fischer pointed out.
“People are going to come from all over,” he added, adding that even President Barack Obama himself “is considering” attending the funeral. The mayor acknowledged that preparations for Ali’s goodbye had been “some time” in the works, and said a large crowd is expected in Louisville, home of the famous Kentucky Derby.
After an intimate ceremony for the family on Thursday, Ali’s casket will be transported through the streets of Louisville on Friday before a private burial and public funeral service at the KFC Yum! Center.
The procession is being organized to “allow anyone from anywhere in the world to say goodbye,” family spokesman Bob Gunnell told reporters.
– “Go in peace” –

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Ali died of septic shock due to unspecified natural causes. Gunnell explained that he was receiving medical attention for a cold but his condition rapidly deteriorated. He was admitted to a hospital in the city of Scottsdale, near Phoenix, where he lived for many years with his wife Lonnie.
Ali’s family decided to permanently remove the devices that were keeping him alive on Friday, Gunnell said. “We all try to stay strong and whisper in his ear: ‘You can go in peace now. We’ll be fine, ‘”said Hana Ali.
Presidents, politicians, businessmen, social activists and even the humblest boxer paid homage to “The Greatest”, as he proclaimed himself in his youthful self-reliance, and which history confirmed by his actions.
“Mohamed Ali was ‘the greatest’. Final point, “said Obama. “His fight outside the ring cost him the title and his public status. This caused him to win enemies everywhere, to be aggrieved, and almost to be sent to jail. But Ali was adamant. And his victory helped us get used to the nation we recognize today, “he said.
Bill Clinton, along with his wife Hillary, noted that “from the day he won Olympic gold in 1960, boxing fans knew they were seeing a blend of beauty and grace, speed and strength that might not happen again.”
Tributes to Ali came from around the world, including from Iran, where his foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called him “The Greatest in the ring and in the fight for justice, dignity and peace.”
– “The greatest of all time” –

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Ali’s career spanned more than two decades, from 1960 to 1981, and he retired with a 56-5 record, including the historic match called “Rumble in the Jungle” against George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire, in 1974.
“He hit me with a one-two, he knocked me out and my life changed completely,” Foreman told CNN. “I was devastated but I knew I would make the best friend I ever had in my life,” he added. The other moments that marked Ali’s career include two KOs of Sonny Liston and his rivalry with Joe Frazier.
Ali was a man of the people. A fighter for the people. I adore Mohamed Ali, he was a lifelong friend. It will never die. His spirit will continue forever, “said Don King, the promoter in his big fights.
– Conscientious objector –

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Born Cassius Marcellus Clay on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, he changed his name to Mohamed Ali in 1964, when he became a Muslim, in the heat of the civil rights movement.
His life was a novel. The novel about a poor and shy boy who got into boxing at the age of 12, when a criminal stole his bicycle. Crying, he went to make the complaint and Joe Martin, the policeman who treated him, convinced him that he should learn to defend himself, and he became his first coach at the Columbia gym in Louisville.
The same Ali who dazzled the world with his unconventional boxing for the time, his bravado and out-of-tone to increase the sale of tickets to his fights, was the man who refused to go to the Vietnam War, “not to kill fellow men ”, and became a pacifist and fighter for civil rights. Ali will be buried in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville. AFP

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