Saying Goodbye to The Greatest: Will Smith and Mike Tyson Carry Muhammad Ali's Coffin to Chants of 'Ali! Ali!'
The 19-mile processional took Muhammad Ali on a final tour of his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky
Muhammad Ali was laid to rest on Friday after Will Smith and former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson loaded his casket into a hearse and a 17-car processional took the legendary boxer on a final journey around his beloved hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
Mourners chanted, “Ali! Ali!” as helicopters buzzed overhead and crowds stood on the streets as the legend embarked on his final journey around the town. In front of Cave Hill cemetery, where Ali was buried, dozens laid flower petals on the ground. The processional’s 19-mile route stopped at landmarks in the three-time heavyweight boxing champion’s life.
The tour included Ali’s childhood neighborhood as well as the gym where he first began his boxing training. The route also passed Muhammad Ali Boulevard and the Muhammad Ali center.
“It was around his 60s, we were sitting chair-to-chair next to each other and there was a lamp and table in between us,” Asaad recalled. “There was a fly, just wandering around. He just snatched it outta nowhere. He just looked at me and said, ‘I still got it.’ ”
He also spoke of the moments before his father’s death, in which the boxing legend’s family gathered around him.
“What I can say about that room [before Ali died] is it was a really emotional, powerful, spiritual moment that we all shared with him,” he said on Today. I was able to say my last few words I really wanted to say to him for a while now.”
Those words, Asaad said, will remain between him and his father.
A funeral for the legendary boxer will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday at the KFC Yum! Center and will be open to the public.
“Muhammad’s extraordinary boxing career only encompasses half his life,” spokesman Bob Gunnell said in a statment last week. “The other half was committed to carrying a message of peace and inclusion to the world. Following his wishes, his funeral will reflect those principals and will be a celebration open to everyone.”
Former President Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal and Bryant Gumbel will give eulogies. Along with Tyson and Smith, who portrayed the charismatic boxer and activist in the 2001 film about Ali’s life, former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and members of Ali’s family served as pallbearers.
For more on Muhammad Ali, tune in to PEOPLE’s List, Saturday, June 11, 8/7c on ABC
One day earlier, thousands of mourners gathered for a traditional Muslim Jenazah ceremony for Ali at Freedom Hall in Louisville.
“There were Muslims from all over and non-Muslims who wanted to come pay their respects to Daddy,” Ali’s daughter, Rasheda Ali, previously told PEOPLE of the service. “We were so moved by the outpouring of people.”