Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Public Louisville Funeral Service Honoring Late Boxing Legend | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Muhammad Ali, right, attacks Alex Mitoff in the sixth round in which Ali clobbered the Argentinean to the canvas, on Oct. 7, 1961 in Louisville, A.P.

Louisville (U.S.)-London- The whole world has its eyes fixed at Louisville, the hometown of the late legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, awaiting the Friday funeral service which would lay the ever loved icon to rest.

Muhammad Ali was more than just a typical sports legend, as he was notorious for his strong convictions and his commitment to them. As his profile rose, Ali acted out against American racism.

Local fans gathering in front of the humble home where the legend once lived and offering tributes, confirmed that they feel as if they had lost a father. Roses, portraits and loving letters are left at the house’s doorstep.

It was at the small Kentucky state town, located mid-south-west, that Mohammed Ali Clay had first felt love for boxing. Everyone said that his ring victories were only a part of a great man that once lived.

The Clay boyhood home was humble in comparison to the man it has nurtured.

Ali died Friday at a Phoenix-area hospital, where he had spent the past few days being treated for respiratory complications, reported NBC News. He was 74.

The legendary boxer spent 17 years of his professional life reaping astonishing triumphs. However, for three decades, Ali had suffered from

Parkinson’s, a progressive neurological condition that slowly robbed him of both his silver-tongue and physical dexterity.

Throughout his life, Ali was searching for something he was not fully aware of. It wasn’t until Ali found guidance from the Nation of Islam, an American Muslim sect that advocated racial separation and rejected the pacifism of most civil rights activism. Inspired by Malcolm X, one of the group’s leaders, he then converted.

The heavyweight champion has left behind a generous legacy for all those who seek to benefit from sports, religious or political lessons.