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EXCLUSIVE: Arnold Schwarzenegger Remembers His 'Idol' Muhammad Ali: 'He Was a Great Motivation'

by Raphael Chestang 5:14 PM PDT, June 10, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Arnold Schwarzenegger Remembers His 'Idol' Muhammad Ali: 'He Was a Great Motivation'

Arnold Schwarzenegger remembered the time he spent with Muhammad Ali outside the late boxing icon's funeral in Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday.

"I just came here to honor Ali, because I think he was a great motivation for all of us, and he was an idol of mine," Schwarzenegger told ET. "People ask me, 'Who are some of your idols?' He's one of the five people that I always mention, because of his generosity and because of his great skills."

WATCH: Thousands Gather in Louisville, Kentucky to Remember Muhammad Ali

Schwarzenegger explained that Ali inspired him not because of his great feats as an athlete, but because of his philanthropy.

He will always be an inspiration. He will always be my idol. He will always be the greatest.

A photo posted by Arnold Schwarzenegger (@schwarzenegger) on

"I've seen him first-hand handing out $100 bills," Schwarzenegger marveled. "He was just a great friend that I had a lot of fun hanging out with."

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According to Schwarzenegger, the two spent a lot of time together in the 1970s as they crossed paths on the TV promotional circuit.

Photo: Getty Images

"He was promoting his fights in the '70s, and I was promoting Pumping Iron and bodybuilding, so we all hung out in the same TV studios," he recalled. "We were going around the country promoting and then always having a great time and great laugh. Then we promoted some charities together. So I just love the guy. I think he was fantastic!"

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In addition to Schwarzenegger, other notable names such as President Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal, Will Smith, Dave Chappelle and Spike Lee attended the ceremony at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville to lay the legend to rest.

The three-time world heavyweight champion died on June 3 after a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease. He is survived by his nine children (Rasheda, Jamilla, Laila, Asaad, Hana, Maryum, Khaliah, Muhammad Jr. and Miya), three grandchildren (Curtis, Sydney and Biaggio) and wife Lonnie.

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