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Heartfelt tributes paid to boxer Muhammad Ali at emotional memorial service

Thousands of people have said a final farewell to Muhammad Ali at a emotional memorial service in his home town of Louisville.

The 74-year-old heavy weight champion was hailed as "the living, breathing embodiment of the greatest we can be" and remembered for being "bigger, brighter and more original and influential than just about anyone of his era" as a packed audience gathered to pay their respects to the sporting legend.

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David Haye credits Muhammad Ali for his boxing career

David Haye credits Muhammad Ali for his successful boxing career. Credit: PA

Former two-weight British world champion David Haye said he would not have taken up boxing if it wasn't for Muhammad Ali.

Speaking to ITV News, Haye said: "Being a kid from South London in a council estate, you need inspiration from people who you inherently trust. As a youngster, he was my inspiration".

"He really did give everybody the feeling of 'anything's possible', and you can achieve anything you want.

"As a direct result of that, I did. I became the heavyweight title holder - I had the same belt Muhammad Ali had, and that's all I ever wanted."

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