Mourners in Louisville still heavily shaken, losing the man who once shook up the world beating out the legendary Sonny Liston to become heavy weight champion at age 22
A Louisville woman paying her respects at the Muhammad Ali Center says, “I woke up to the news in the middle of the night and couldn’t stop crying.”
He’s forever remembered for his larger than life personality.
Ali once said, “I’m handsome, I’m fast, I’m pretty and can’t possibly be beat.”
The self proclaimed “greatest of all time” and three time heavy weight champion remembered from coast to coast and across the globe.
A man from the Philippines tells CNN, “He is the greatest indeed. Even Pacquiao cannot match his accomplishments.”
And for the ones who knew him the best, it’s bittersweet.
Younger Brother Rahman Ali telling ABC news he was “very, very close. My brother was my best friend next to my wife.”
Rahman Ali says his older brother was born for success.
“He (Muhammad Ali) said Rudy, I’m going to be the world’s greatest fighter. At 12-years-old when he first walked into that boxing gym ”
Even boxers like Larry Holmes who beat out Ali, preventing him from taking home the heavyweight championship title for the fourth time, tells CNN he looks up to the legend.
Holmes says, “They can talk about Joe Louis, Dempsey, Marciano, all those guys, and say oh they was great, they was great, yeah they was great. But they weren’t greater than Muhammad Ali, he is the only one I am going to let be greater than me.”
A controversial and sometimes divisive figure who fought his own draft into the Vietnam War, being remembered as a unifier from those of all races and religions. In California a vigil was held in his honor at a mosque he helped build.
A representative at the Bilal Islamic Center says about his character “…for a heavyweight champion was surprising sometimes, because he was very playful. He loved children and he loved people.”
Muhammad Ali’s funeral will be this Friday at 2pm at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.
Beforehand his body will be carried in a slow walk procession down Muhammad Ali Boulevard for mourners to pay their respects.