Will Smith and Lennox Lewis to carry Muhammad Ali coffin at funeral

Hollywood star Will Smith and Britain's former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis will help to carry Muhammad Ali's coffin to his funeral.

The pair are among eight pallbearers named for Friday's memorial service in Ali's hometown of Louisville.

Smith was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Ali in the 2001 film of the same name.

The other pallbearers will be Jerry Ellis - the brother of Jimmy Ellis, Ali's former sparring partner and fellow world heavyweight champion - and Ali's cousins John Grady and Jan Wadell, nephew Ibn Ali, former brother-in-law Komawi Ali and family friend John Ramsey.

Lennox Lewis reigned as undisputed world heavyweight champion after beating Evander Holyfield in 1999. Credit: Reuters

The public memorial service for Ali, who died on Saturday at the age of 74, will be held at the KFC YUM! Centre in the Kentucky city and streamed live on the internet.

It will be preceded by a Jenazah - an Islamic funeral prayer programme - on Thursday at the Freedom Hall, where Ali made his winning professional debut.

Among the speakers at Ali's funeral will be Malcolm X's daughter Attalah Shabazz, wife Lonnie Ali, eldest daughter Maryum, American actor Billy Crystal, former US president Bill Clinton and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey.