Boxing legend Muhammad Ali passed away on Saturday at the age of 74, but as it turns out, he had already planned his own funeral long before his death.
Together with his family and closest friends, the boxing legend laid out the details on how he wanted his funeral to turn out. The document grew thicker as more details were added, and it was eventually referred to as “The Book,” according to the Daily Mail.
In the said book, Ali wanted to say goodbye by having his funeral in his hometown of Louisville, specifically a memorial service at the KFC Yum! Arena where he won his first professional fight in 1960.
He wanted all 15,000 seats to be filled. Although he was specific about having a traditional Muslim service and a Jenazah to be held on Thursday, he also wanted all religions to have a voice.
Besides VIPs, he wanted solid fans to attend his memorial service as well. Those who are set to perform eulogies include Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal and sportscaster Bryant Gumbel, as well as Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan and King Abdullah II of Jordan.
A mile-long procession will happen before the boxing champion will finally be laid to rest at the prestigious Cave Hill Cemetery on Friday.
“The message that we’ll be sending out is not our message – this was really designed by the champ himself,” said Timothy Gianotti, an Islamic studies scholar and one of the people who took part in planning Ali’s funeral, according to the Mirror UK.
“The love and the reverence and the inclusivity that we’re going to experience over the coming days is really a reflection of his message to the people of planet earth,” he added.
Final revisions of his funeral were made days before he died after losing his battle with a respiratory ailment, with all his family and friends by his side.
Boxing superstars Manny Pacquiao paid tribute to “The Greatest,” saying the boxing world benefited from Ali’s talents. Meanwhile, Floyd Mayweather also paid tribute, saying that he was “the voice for all of us.”