One revered Muhammad Ali as his friend and a boxing god. The other memorably portrayed "The Greatest" in the 2001 biopic, Ali.
Mike Tyson and Will Smith, respectively, helped load Ali's casket into a hearse Friday morning for a 19-mile trip through the late global sports icon's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, to begin his public funeral procession.
Thousands of fans crowded the streets, running after his hearse to pay their final respects and cheer on their fallen three-time world heavyweight champion during his last ride through the city.
The funeral procession comes a week after Ali died at the age of 74.
Tyson and Smith will be joined by the likes of Lennox Lewis and Larry Holmes as pallbearers for Ali's funeral procession's memorial service, scheduled for later in the day Friday.
Fans showered Ali's hearse with flowers and chanted his name as the vehicle made its way through landmarks in the legend's life, including his childhood neighborhood and the gym where he began honing his boxing skills. The hearse also passed by the Muhammad Ali Center and Muhammad Ali Boulevard.
What a poignant scene — one that the thousands of fans in attendance and the many more watching at home will never forget.
It's fitting that "The People's Champion" gets a final sendoff and salute from so many of the people whom he touched.
Rest in peace to the legend, Muhammad Ali.
You can watch a live stream of Ali's funeral procession memorial ceremony, beginning at 2 p.m. today here.
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(Photo: Michael Clevenger/The Courier-Journal via AP)
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