June 8, 2016


Muhammad Ali's Funeral Will Air Live on ESPN

Dan Farrell/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Dan Farrell/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

This Friday, Muhammad Ali's funeral service will be available for anyone with cable to take part in. Held in Louisville, Ky.—the town that welcomed Cassius Clay Jr. into the world on Jan. 17, 1942—the memorial service coverage will begin at 2 p.m. EST on ESPN, Deadline reports.

Ali died on June 4 at the age of 74; he suffered from Parkinson's disease for 26 years.

Along with Lennox Lewis, Will Smith will be one of Ali's pallbearers; he played the champion boxer in a 2001 biopic. Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal and Bryant Gumbel will all speak at the memorial. On Tuesday, Ali's spokesman said the legend began planning his funeral a decade ago:

"As he convened the meeting, he said, 'This is what I would like to see, this is the type of program that I would like to see, that is inclusive of everyone, where we give as many people an opportunity that want to pay their respects to me.'"

The memorial will observe Muslim traditions and take place at the 22,000-capacity KFC Yum! Center. "That comes after a funeral procession travels along Muhammad Ali Boulevard and past his boyhood home on its way to Cave Hill Cemetery," Deadline writes.