FORMER world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and Hollywood actor Will Smith will help carry the coffin at Muhammad Ali’s funeral on Friday.

London-born Lewis, 50, became undisputed world champion in 1999, while Smith, 47, played Ali in the 2001 film of the same name, earning himself an Oscar nomination for Best Leading Actor.

Boxing icon Ali died at the age of 74 at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday and his funeral will take place in his home town of Louisville, Kentucky.

“I am humbled, and honoured, beyond words to help see my hero, Muhammad Ali, off to his final resting place,” Lewis said in a statement.

“Ali has always been an enormous inspiration to me, not only in my boxing career, but also in life. His journey began 74 years ago, and in that time, he not only transformed the world of sport, he used sport to transform the world.”

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

The funeral will take place at a large concert and sports arena, the KFC Yum! Center, and will be open to the public, as well as streamed live on the internet.