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Boxing legend Ali laid to rest

Thousands of people attended a farewell procession for boxing legend Muhammad Ali in his home city of Louisville, in the US state of Kentucky on Friday.

Muhammad Ali was buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky, after one last drive through his hometown in a motorcade bearing his remains, CNN reported.

The processional passed important spots in Ali’s life before heading to the ceremony for the private burial.

Onlookers cheered his cortege as it passed by on its way to the cemetery. The ex-heavyweight champion and rights activist died last Friday aged 74.

The service, attended by dignitaries and by several thousand people who acquired free tickets, was held at the KFC Yum! Centre, BBC reported.

It started with a Koran reading in Arabic. Imam Hamzah Abdul Malik recited Sura Fosselat, Prostration chapter 41 verses 30-35, which includes the words: “Truly those who say our Lord is God and are righteous, the angels will descend upon them saying have neither fear nor sadness but rather rejoice in this paradise that you have been promised.”

Local Protestant minister Kevin Cosby said: “Before James Brown said ‘I’m black and I’m proud’, Muhammad Ali said ‘I’m black and I’m pretty’.”

Ali’s wife Lonnie told the crowd: “If Muhammad did not like the rules, he rewrote them. His religion, his beliefs, his name were his to fashion, no matter what the cost. Muhammad wants young people of every background to see his life as proof that adversity can make you stronger. It cannot rob you of the power to dream, and to reach your dreams.”

Former US President Bill Clinton described Ali as “a free man of faith”. 

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