The Baddest Man on the Planet serves as a pallbearer for The Greatest.
The family of Muhammad Ali added Mike Tyson to the crew of casket carriers at the fighter’s Friday funeral. He joins former foe Lennox Lewis and actor Will Smith, among several other friends and family of the late boxer, in pallbearer duties.
Whereas Ali began the 1980s as the lineal heavyweight champion, Tyson ended the decade atop boxing big man/big money division. The pair shared a couple of common opponents. Trevor Berbick and Larry Holmes, who bested a shadow of Ali, both lost in notable fashion. Tyson beat Berbick for his first alphabet-soup belt in dramatic fashion, sending the Bahamian stumbling about the ring in a second-round stoppage. Thirteen months later, Tyson put the only TKO of Larry Holmes’ career on the former champ and Ali sparring partner.
Like Ali, Tyson converted to Islam, faced off with the government in a legal battle, generated a great deal of controversy during his career, and enjoyed fame that transcended the boxing ring.
Ali died of septic shock at 74 on June 3 after a long bout with Parkinson’s disease. Years before his death, he planned Friday’s sendoff, which includes a 19-mile procession and a public farewell at a Louisville arena.