He was "The People's Champion" for a reason and the people definitely came out in full force to pay their final respects to him.
An estimated 14,000 fans converged Thursday in Muhammad Ali's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, to mourn and offer a final salute to the late three-time world heavyweight boxing champion and beloved global sports icon during his Muslim service. Ali died at the age of 74 late last Friday.
Reuters reports that the attendees of the jenazah, or "funeral" in Arabic, represented several different races and creeds for the service, which repeatedly referred to Ali as "The People's Champion."
The news service additionally reports that Imam Zaid Shakir, a founder of the Muslim liberal arts school Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California, led attendees in Arabic prayers over Ali's casket, which was draped in black-and-gold cloth.
The treatment of this Muslim funeral was 10 years in the making by the ex-champ himself.
"It's very rare where a figure captures the imagination of the entire world," President Obama said in a statement Thursday, as reported by Reuters. "He was one of a kind and in my book he'll always be the greatest."
Ali's Muslim funeral Thursday will be followed by a funeral procession Friday, which will include former president Bill Clinton and comedian Billy Crystal as speakers.
Will Smith, Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson will be among the pallbearers at the funeral.
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(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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