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."
Boxer Muhammad Ali's memory continues to live on in Africa as the nation mourns the passing of "one of their own".
In his home city of Louisville, the boxing great is seen as a teacher, as well as a sporting icon and celebrity.
World leaders and celebrities are among 18,000 people expected to attend the funeral in the fighter's home city of Louisville, Kentucky.