Last goodbye to Muhammad Ali culminates with emotional memorial service

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Procession and Service for Ali, The Greatest

Religious and political leaders of many stripes joined the sports world and tens of thousands of ordinary mourners on Friday to bid farewell to Muhammad Ali, the boxing champion who jolted America with his showmanship and won worldwide admiration as a man of principle.

Ali, a once-controversial convert to Islam who lost three prime years of his boxing career for refusing U.S. military service during the Vietnam War, died a week ago at age 74 as one of the most respected men in the United States.

Fans chanting "Ali!" and throwing flowers lined the streets of Louisville, Kentucky, for a funeral procession. Ali's hearse snaked through the city, pausing for a huge crowed outside his boyhood home, en route to a cemetery for a private burial beneath a headstone reading simply "Ali."

SEE MORE: Celebrities and athletes mourn the boxing legend

City officials estimated 100,000 people came out to honor Ali, many traveling from across the country and across the world. Some tossed flowers atop the hearse carrying his casket as part of an 18-car procession over 23 miles (37 km) in a memorial unlike any other in recent U.S. history.

After Ali's body was put to rest, former President Bill Clinton and celebrities such as Billy Crystal, Will Smith and Mike Tyson were among those gathered at a 20,000-seat sports arena for an interfaith memorial service that began with Muslim prayers.

The Reverend Kevin W. Cosby, a pastor at a Louisville church, likened Ali to other ground-breaking black athletes who advanced civil rights such as baseball player Jackie Robinson, boxer Joe Louis and track star Jessie Owens.

CELEBRATING 'THE GREATEST':

39 PHOTOS
Muhammad Ali's funeral procession through Louisville
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Last goodbye to Muhammad Ali culminates with emotional memorial service
Muhammad Ali's funeral procession passes as onlookers line the street Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Hana Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali, is throw flowers as she rides in her father's funeral procession while it enters Cave Hill Cemetery, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A mourner holds a photo of Muhammad Ali, as she waits for the procession to pass with the hearse carrying the body of Muhammad Ali, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
A mourner throws a rose onto the hearse carrying the body of the late Muhammad Ali as it enters Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. June 10, 2016. REUTERS/John Sommers II
LOUISVILLE, KY - JUNE 10: Police wait the hearse carrying the body of Muhammed Ali to pass by his childhood home on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. The funeral possession wound through Louisville, preceding a memorial service and giving the public an opportunity to honor the four-time world heavyweight boxing champion, who died on June 3 at age 74. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - JUNE 10: People wait along the childhood street of Muhammed Ali for his funeral procession to pass by on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. The procession preceded a memorial service, giving the public an opportunity to honor the four-time world heavyweight boxing champion. Ali died on June 3 at age 74. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Muhammad Ali's funeral procession passes as onlookers line the street Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Police stand guard along a rose petal covered entrance way to Cave Hill Cemetery before the arrival of Muhammad Ali's funeral procession, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Ali's body will rode in a miles-long procession spanning his life â from his boyhood home where he shadowboxed and dreamed of greatness to the boulevard that bears his name and the museum that stands as a lasting tribute to his boxing triumphs and his humanitarian causes outside the ring. Ali died last Friday at 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A spectator holds a rose as he waits for the arrival of Muhammad Ali's funeral procession to enter Cave Hill Cemetery, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Ali's body will rode in a miles-long procession spanning his life â from his boyhood home where he shadowboxed and dreamed of greatness to the boulevard that bears his name and the museum that stands as a lasting tribute to his boxing triumphs and his humanitarian causes outside the ring. Ali died last Friday at 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
LOUISVILLE, KY - JUNE 10: People get their picture taken in front of Muhammad Ali's childhood home on Grand Avenue on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. The funeral procession for Ali will be traveling over 20 miles on a designated route throughout Louisville. The four-time world heavyweight boxing champion died on June 3 at age 74. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)
Actor Will Smith greets the crowd as he arrives with Muhammad Ali's funeral procession while they enter Cave Hill Cemetery, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Ali's body will rode in a miles-long procession spanning his life â from his boyhood home where he shadowboxed and dreamed of greatness to the boulevard that bears his name and the museum that stands as a lasting tribute to his boxing triumphs and his humanitarian causes outside the ring. Ali died last Friday at 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Muhammad Ali's funeral procession passes as onlookers line the street Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Flowers pile up on the hearse carrying Muhammad Ali as spectators watch his funeral procession enter Cave Hill Cemetery, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Ali's body will rode in a miles-long procession spanning his life â from his boyhood home where he shadowboxed and dreamed of greatness to the boulevard that bears his name and the museum that stands as a lasting tribute to his boxing triumphs and his humanitarian causes outside the ring. Ali died last Friday at 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
LOUISVILLE, KY - JUNE 10: Friends and family of Muhammad Ali shake hands with people in the crowd lining Grand Avenue as the funeral procession motorcade drives in front Ali's childhood home on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. The funeral procession for Ali was traveling over 20 miles on a designated route throughout Louisville on the way to Cave Hill Cemetery. The four-time world heavyweight boxing champion died on June 3 at age 74. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - JUNE 10: Brown Rawls (man middle) and his family have their photo taken in front of a Muhammad Ali back drop in the front yard of house down the street from his childhood home on Grand Avenue on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. The funeral procession for Ali will be traveling over 20 miles on a designated route throughout Louisville. The four-time world heavyweight boxing champion died on June 3 at age 74. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)
Brandon Liggons, 2, (L) holds an image of Muhammad Ali during the funeral procession for the three-time heavyweight boxing champion in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., June 10, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
LOUISVILLE, KY - JUNE 10: People stand in front of Muhammad Ali's childhood home on Grand Avenue on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. The funeral procession for Ali will be traveling over 20 miles on a designated route throughout Louisville. The four-time world heavyweight boxing champion died on June 3 at age 74. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)
Jerry Martin walks his horse, Rekoa, fashioned as a riderless horse, outside boxing legend Muhammad Ali's childhood home where mourners wait to pay their respects during a funeral procession on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. Thousands of people from near and far were expected to line the streets of Muhammad Ali's hometown Louisville on Friday to say goodbye to the boxing legend and civil rights hero, who mesmerized the world with his dazzling skills. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A man walks down the street with a huge painting of boxing legend Muhammad Ali outside his childhood home where mourners wait to pay their respects to a funeral procession on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. Thousands of people from near and far were expected to line the streets of Muhammad Ali's hometown Louisville on Friday to say goodbye to the boxing legend and civil rights hero, who mesmerized the world with his dazzling skills. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
People sit in lawn chairs outside boxing legend Muhammad Ali's childhood home where mourners wait to pay their respects during a funeral procession on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. Thousands of people from near and far were expected to line the streets of Muhammad Ali's hometown Louisville on Friday to say goodbye to the boxing legend and civil rights hero, who mesmerized the world with his dazzling skills. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman places flower peddles along the entrance to Cave Hill Cemetery for the funeral procession for boxing legend Muhammad Ali on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. Ali will be laid to rest Friday, the culmination of a two-day farewell for the beloved boxing legend and civil rights hero who electrified crowds the world over. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Tymetrius Steward, 3, wears boxing gloves to honor Muhammad Ali as he awaits his funeral procession to make its way down Muhammad Ali Boulevard in Louisville, Ky. Friday, June 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Cathy Gutgsell, left, holds a sign as she is photographed while spectators wait for the arrival of Muhammad Ali's funeral procession to enter Cave Hill Cemetery, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Ali died last Friday at age 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Ubay Dullah Muhammad, front, and his son Eugene Muhammad wait to watch Muhammad Ali's funeral procession as a city bus passes by Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. The pair traveled from their home in Augusta, Ga., to pay their respects to Ali. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Spectators wait for the arrival of Muhammad Ali's funeral procession to enter Cave Hill Cemetery, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Ali died last Friday at age 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Akera Price-King, 9, carries a sign saluting Muhammad Ali on the street in front of Ali's boyhood home Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Ali's funeral procession is scheduled to pass by the house later in the day. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Roses rest along the entrance way to Cave Hill Cemetery as police stand guard before the arrival of Muhammad Ali's funeral procession, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Ali died last Friday at age 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Nick Smith, of Louisville, poses for a photograph holding a drawing of Muhammad Ali as spectators wait for the arrival of Ali's funeral procession to enter Cave Hill Cemetery, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Ali died last Friday at age 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Two men hold up placards reading 'Me, We', a quote by boxing legend Muhammad Ali as they wait outside his childhood home with other mourners to pay their respects during a funeral procession on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. Thousands of people from near and far were expected to line the streets of Muhammad Ali's hometown Louisville on Friday to say goodbye to the boxing legend and civil rights hero, who mesmerized the world with his dazzling skills. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
The coffin bearing the remains of Muhammad Ali is loaded into a hearse at the A D Porter & Sons funeral home during the funeral procession for the three-time heavyweight boxing champion in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., June 10, 2016. REUTERS/Adrees Latif TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
The hearse carrying the remains of Muhammad Ali leaves the A D Porter & Sons funeral home during the funeral procession for the three-time heavyweight boxing champion in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., June 10, 2016. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
Lena Worthington, 2, of Louisville, wears boxing gloves as spectators wait for the arrival of Muhammad Ali's funeral procession to enter Cave Hill Cemetery, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Ali died last Friday at age 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Spectators wait for the arrival of Muhammad Ali's funeral procession to enter Cave Hill Cemetery, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Ali died last Friday at age 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
People wait to view a procession for boxing legend Muhammad Ali pass on the way to Cave Hill Cemetery June 10, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. Thousands of people from near and far were expected to line the streets of Muhammad Ali's hometown Louisville on Friday to say goodbye to the boxing legend and civil rights hero, who mesmerized the world with his dazzling skills. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Crowds line the route of the procession led by the hearse carrying the body of Muhammad Ali in Louisville, Ky., on Friday, June 10, 2016. Ali died last Friday at age 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. (AP Photo/Dylan T. Lovan)
Thirteen-year-old Malik Parker shadow boxes outside boxing legend Muhammad Ali's childhood home where mourners wait to pay their respects during a funeral procession on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. Thousands of people from near and far were expected to line the streets of Muhammad Ali's hometown Louisville on Friday to say goodbye to the boxing legend and civil rights hero, who mesmerized the world with his dazzling skills. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Crowds line the route of the procession led by the hearse carrying the body of Muhammad Ali, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
A mourner holds a sign as the funeral procession for Muhammad Ali makes its way down Muhammad Ali Boulevard in Louisville, Ky. Friday, June 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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"Before James Brown said, 'I'm black and I'm proud,' Muhammad Ali said, 'I'm black and I'm pretty,'" Cosby told a crowd the arena, referring to the 1960s R&B singer. "He dared to love black people at a time when black people had a problem loving themselves."

Earlier on a hot day, some 1,500 people gathered outside Ali's boyhood home in a traditionally African-American section of town. As the hearse arrived, police standing shoulder-to-shoulder cleared a path, much like a fighter's entourage clears his way to the ring.

The hearse stopped at the pink house as the people, many of whom waited in the sun for more than three hours, chanted his name.

"It was important for me to be here," said Matt Alexander, 63, who traveled from Florida. "I cried like a baby when I heard he'd died. I just didn't want to believe it because I wanted him to live forever."

Rickey Martin, 55, compared him to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. as a towering figure of the 20th century.

"Ali and MLK instilled in our generation that you didn't just have to sit back and do as you were told," Martin said. "You could go to school, you get a good job. In the years after segregation ... he was an inspiration to all of us."

MUHAMMAD ALI THROUGH THE YEARS:

53 PHOTOS
Muhammad Ali through the years
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Last goodbye to Muhammad Ali culminates with emotional memorial service
Eighty-five pound Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., is shown posing at twelve, prior to his amateur ring debut in 1954, a three minute, three round split decision over another novice named Ronnie O'Keefe, in Louisville, Kentucky. (AP Photo)
Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) of Louisville, Ky., member of the West team in Golden Gloves action in New York on March 21, 1960, leads with a right against Gary Jawish of Chevy Chase, Md., in their heavyweight championship bout. Ali won by TKO in the third round. (AP Photo/John Lent)
Cassius Clay, 18-year-old from Louisville, Ky., throws a right at Tony Madigan of Australia, left, during the light heavyweight boxing semi-finals at the Summer Olympic Games in Rome, Italy, Sept. 3, 1960. Clay won the bout with all five votes of the judges. (AP Photo)
A trio of U.S. boxers wear gold medals at the Olympic village in Rome, Sept. 6, 1960. From the left are: Wilbert McClure of Toledo, Ohio, light middleweight; Cassius Clay of Louisville, Kentucky, light heavyweight; and Edward Crook of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, middleweight. (AP Photo)
19-year old Cassius Clay, last year's Olympic gold medalist who recently turned professional, connects with a straight right to the jaw of Kolo (Duke) Sabedong during a 10-round heavyweight bout in Las Vegas, Nevada June 26, 1961. Clay, who maintains he will be world champion before he turns 21, scored a unanimous decision, to run his professional winning streak to seven straight. Clay, of Louisville, Ky., weighed in at 197 1/2 lbs., while Sabedong, of San Francisco, Calif., tipped the scales at 226. (AP Photo)
Young heavyweight fighter Cassius Clay is seen at City Parks Gym in New York, Feb. 8, 1962. (AP Photo/Dan Grossi)
Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) (right) lands on Don Warner's jaw in an early exchange of their fight in Miami Beach, Fla., February 28, 1962 with a straight right. It was the same punch which knocked Warner through the ropes in Round 4 and headed him for a technical knockout as the fight was stopped soon after he climbed back to the canvas. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this Nov. 15, 1962, file photo, young heavyweight boxer Cassius Clay, who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali, points to a sign he wrote on a chalk board in his dressing room before his fight against Archie Moore in Los Angeles, predicting he'd knock Moore out in the fourth round, which he went on to do. The sign also predicts Clay will be the next champ via a knockout over Sonny Liston in eight rounds. He did it in seven rounds. Ali turns 70 on Jan. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Harold P. Matosian, File)
Young boxer Cassius Clay is seen with his mother, Odessa Grady Clay, April 2, 1963, at an unknown location. (AP Photo)
Cassius Clay, young heavyweight fighter, thrusts his fist out, Feb. 19, 1964, as he tells a crowd at Surfside, Fla., how he'll hit champion Sonny Liston in their upcoming bout at Miami Beach. Clay and his followers paid an unexpected visit to Liston's Surfside camp. (AP Photo/Harry Harris)
Sonny Liston, right, lowers his head and works in close during 6th round of heavyweight championship fight with Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) in Miami Beach, Fla. on Feb. 25, 1964. Liston suffered a cut left eye and a strained left shoulder before the fight was stopped at the end of the round. (AP Photo)
American boxer and sometime actor Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) as Eric Sevareid interviews him during an episode of the CBS Evening News, New York, March 24, 1964. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
World heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali is held back by referee Joe Walcott after Ali knocked out challenger Sonny Liston in 1 minute, 42 seconds of the first round of the scheduled 15 round championship bout in Lewiston, Maine, May 25, 1965. (AP Photo/stf)
Muhammad Ali reacts after the referee stopped the bout between Ali and European champ Karl Mildenberger, Sept 10, 1966, in Frankfurt, Germany. Ali won by technical knockout. (AP Photo)
Muhammad Ali lands with a left to the head of Ernie Terrell in the seventh round of their 15-round heavyweight championship fight in Houston, Tex., Feb. 6, 1967. Ali battered Terrell throughout the entire fight to win by a unanimous decision. (AP Photo)
Former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali sits in the back seat of a limousine with his wife Belinda after he was released from Dade County jail in Miami, Dec. 23, 1968. Ali served 8 days of a 10-day sentence on a 1967 traffic charge. He was among 50 prisoners released early on Christmas amnesty. (AP Photo/Harold Valentine)
Muhammad Ali delivers a hard right to Jerry Quarry on October 26, 1970 in a scheduled 15 round fight at Atlanta, Ga. Ali was declared the winner after Quarry didn't answer the bell for the fourth round. Quarry had a gash over his left eye that required 11stitches to close. (AP Photo/Joe Holloway Jr.)
Muhammad Ali holds his 2 year old daughter, Maryum Ali, while waiting to tape a show for ABC "Wide World of Sports" in New York on Oct. 29, 1970. With the fighter is his wife, Belinda. (AP Photo/ Anthony Camerano)
Muhammad Ali has his right cocked as he punishes the heavy bag with lightning-quick lefts during training in Miami Beach, Fla, on Monday March 4, 1971 for his heavyweight title fight with champion Joe Frazier in New York. (AP Photo)
Muhammad Ali lands a blow to the face of Jimmy Ellis in the 11th round of their 12-round heavyweight fight in Houston on July 26, 1971. Ali landed blows freely in the 11th round and the fight was halted in the 12th round with Ali getting a TKO. (AP Photo)
FILE--Muhammad Ali lies on canvas after being knocked down by heavyweight champion Joe Frazier in this March 8, 1971 file photo. The heavyweight championship fight between Frazier and Ali was billed as The Fight, and 25 years later, it still is The Fight, secure in its place in boxing legend. (AP Photo/File)
Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali tells European heavyweight champ Joe Bugner, seen Dec. 18, 1972, that he will stop him in seven rounds in their 12-round match in Las Vegas on Feb. 14. (AP Photo)
Muhammad Ali, right, winces as Ken Norton hits him with a left to the head in their scheduled 12-round re-match, Sept. 10, 1973 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. (AP Photo)
Muhammad Ali, left, and Joe Frazier in the 12 round non-title fight that took place at Madison Square Garden in New York, January 28, 1974. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this Oct. 30, 1974 file photo, Challenger Muhammad Ali watches as defending world champion George Foreman goes down to the canvas in the eighth round of their WBA/WBC championship match in Kinshasa, Zaire, on Oct. 30, 1974. Foreman was counted out by the referee and Ali regained the world heavyweight crown by knockout in the bout dubbed "Rumble in the Jungle." (AP Photo/File)
**FILE** Spray flies from the head of challenger Joe Frazier, left, as heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali connects with a right in the ninth round of their title fight in Manila, Philippines, Oct. 1, 1975. Ali won the fight on a decision to retain the title. (AP Photo/Mitsunori Chigita, File)
Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali gets in a little road work escorted by two automobiles and a police cruiser in a park in Greenbelt, Maryland, April 28, 1976. He will fight challenger Jimmy Young in a championship bout on Friday. (AP Photo/Bob Daugherty)
World heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali waves with his fists behind the balance during weigh-in ceremony on May 23, 1976 in Munich for his upcoming title fight against British champion Richard Dunn on May 24, 1976 in Munich?s Olympic hall. (AP Photo)
Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali knocks challenger Ken Norton back with a right hand punch in the 14th round of their title fight Tuesday night, September 28, 1976. Ali retained his title with a decision win in the 15-round fight in New York's Yankee Stadium. (AP Photo)
Heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali prepares his right as he jabs at challenger Leon Spinks with his left during the first round at their 15-round title bout at the Hilton Pavillion in Las Vegas, Nev., Feb. 16, 1978. (AP Photo)
Muhammad Ali, noted mouthpiece of the boxing world, has to listen here as heavyweight champion Leon Spinks has the floor for a word during their contract signing in New Orleans, April 11, 1978. The fighters will meet on September 15 in the Superdome. (AP Photo)
Former heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali, right, trades punches with a Soviet boxer in one of three two-round unscored exhibition bouts on Tuesday, June 20, 1978 in Moscow. Afterwards, Ali said he thought that he had lost one of the bouts, and added on an uncharacteristic modest note: ?Me, I?m finished. My day is over. I?m going on guts and courage and native ability.? (AP Photo/Yurchenko)
Muhammad Ali ponders a question at news conference following his WBA heavyweight title bout with Leon Spinks in New Orleans on Friday, Sept. 16, 1978. Ali regained his title with a 15-round unanimous decision. ?Thank God it?s over,? said Ali. (AP Photo)
LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 2,1980: Muhammad Ali (L) throws a punch against Larry Holmes during the fight at Caesars Palace, on October 2,1980 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Larry Holmes won the WBC heavyweight title by a RTD 10. (Photo by: The Ring Magazine/Getty Images)
Trevor Berbick, left, and Muhammad Ali seem to have an equal reach as they slug it out during a Friday night boxing match on Dec. 12, 1981 in Nassau, Bahamas. Berbick won the 10 round bout with a unanimous decision. (AP Photo)
JUL 14 1981; Ali, Muhammad (Boxer) - Ind.; (Photo By Lyn Alweis/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, clowns around as he takes a "punch" to the nose by the Rocky Marciano award during a photo session at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York, Nov. 19, 1984. The award was presented to Ali during the organization's annual Salute to Boxing Greats. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
Muhammad Ali watches as the flame climbs up to the Olympic torch during the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics Friday, July 19, 1996, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
Muhammad Ali poses with Dream Team members from left: Scottie Pippen, Hakeem Olajuwon, Reggie Miller, Shaquille O'Neal, Karl Malone and Gary Payton after receiving the gold medal, which replaces the 1960 gold medal he lost, during half time ceremonies at the gold medal game of basketball competition at the Centennial Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta Saturday, August 3, 1996. IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch presented the medal to Ali. (AP Photo/Eric Draper)
Muhammad Ali playfully spars with a photographer while on a tour bus to visit Alain Leroy Locke High School, Tuesday, December 3, 1996, in South-Central Los Angeles. Ali visited two high schools and the Watts Labor Community Action Committee to promote his new book, "HEALING: A Journal of Tolerance and Understanding," with co-author Thomas Hauser. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Muhammad Ali, known as "The Greatest," poses next to a Wheaties "The Breakfast of Champions" poster during the unveiling of the 75th Anniversary cereal box in his honor in New York, Thursday Feb. 4, 1999. "Muhammad Ali is quite possibly the most recognized sports figure of our time," said Wheaties market manager Jim Murphy. "That's why we are especially proud to recognize him on our box during our 75th anniversary celebration." (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Johnny Grant, right, honorary mayor of Hollywood, reaches over to shake the hand of Muhammad Ali after the boxing legend's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled Friday, Jan. 11, 2002, in Los Angeles' Hollywood district. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Actor Will Smith applauds as he presents the humanitarian award to boxing great Muhammad Ali during the 2nd Annual BET Awards Tuesday, June 25, 2002, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Former heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali waves to the crowd below as his daughter IBA super middleweight champion Laila Ali, touches him after they unveiled a new giant three-paneled wallscape in the Harlem neighborhood of New York, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2004. (AP Photo/Ed Bailey)
Muhammad Ali listen to fans as he prepares to promote his latest book "The Soul Of A Butterfly," co-authored with his daughter Hana Ali, in Harlem, New York, Wednesday Dec. 1, 2004. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2005 file photo, President Bush presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to boxer Muhammad Ali in the East Room of the White House. He is now so much a part of the nation's social fabric that it's hard to comprehend a time when Ali was more reviled than revered. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
** FILE ** Golf great Arnold Palmer, left, greets boxing legend Muhammad Ali, center, and Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, right, prior to the coin toss at the Orange Bowl football game between Wake Forest and Louisville Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2007, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Former boxing heavyweight champion of the world Muhammad Ali watches from the audience during the opening plenary of the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting Wednesday, Sept 24, 2008 in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Producer Jerry Weintraub, left, greets Muhammad Ali at the UNICEF Ball honoring Weintraub in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Muhammad Ali waves to the crowd during Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night XVII on Saturday March. 19, 2011, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)
Retired boxing champion Muhammad Ali, center, is presented with the Liberty Medal by his daughter Laila Ali, right, as his wife Lonnie Ali, left, looks on during a ceremony at the National Constitution Center, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, in Philadelphia. The honor is given annually to an individual who displays courage and conviction while striving to secure liberty for people worldwide. His sister-in-law Marilyn Williams is at right. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Former boxing legend Muhammad Ali arrives for the coin toss prior to the start of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game between Florida and Louisville on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
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Dipo Akabashorun, 51, came from Lagos, Nigeria to see off Ali. "We claim him, too, as our native son. We claim him too as a Lagotian," he said.

Some foreign dignitaries attended but Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who went to a Muslim funeral for Ali on Thursday, cut short his visit to Louisville and did not take part in Friday's event as planned.

Remembering Muhammad Ali

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