LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - "He was my champ. He was my champ," one woman sobbed.
There were intense emotions felt by those in the presence of The Champ as his funeral procession passed through the city streets Friday.
"Chills, I felt chills," another woman said. "I was born and raised in Louisville Kentucky. He was raised in Louisville Kentucky. We (are) outside his childhood home, there's no other feeling (like it)."
Some waited for hours under the sweltering sun for Ali to drive by the place where it all started, his childhood home on Grand Avenue.
Once police started walking the street, people knew The Greatest was close.
"Please back up. We don't have enough room to get through," police told the crowd through a speaker.
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Then the chanting of Ali's name began.
When the vehicle carrying his body arrived, the love for Ali came pouring out.
Actor Will Smith, in a car not too far behind, elevated the screams and shouts when he rolled down his window to greet mourners.
The Ali family rolled down their windows too. Cell phones were in the air. It was a moment they will never forget.
"It was hard. I'm (going to) miss him, a lot," Toya Johnson told us.
"I'm not dumb. I knew eventually he would pass, but I just wasn't ready for it I guess. And now he's gone, and I have to accept it and go on with I'm in my heart because that's where he's going to rest every minute. In my heart," another woman cried.