This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 14 July, 2020

'They look pretty rough these football and hurling players' - when Ali visited Ireland

The boxing legend came to Ireland as he prepared for a 1972 fight in Croke Park.

Source: fitz303/YouTube

MUHAMMAD ALI WAS pretty impressed by what he saw in Ireland if the 1972 footage above is anything to go by.

The boxing legend, who has passed away at the age of 74, marvelled at a country that was greener than “even Kentucky,” whiskey which “takes a long time to make” but doesn’t “take long to drink” and the “pretty rough” Gaelic footballers and hurlers.

PA-4105198 Before starting his final workout for the 12-round bout against Al Blue Lewis, former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali has a lighthearted sparring match with American film director John Huston, in Dublin, Ireland, on 18 July, 1972. Huston, who once was a boxer himself, came to the Irish capital to see the fight and invited Ali to a screening of his latest motion picture, the boxing drama Fat City. Source: AP/Press Association Images

The Kentucky-born boxer was in the country for his fight with Al ‘Blue’ Lewis in Croke Park, which he subsequently won by TKO in the 11th round.

PA-4105193 Muhammad Ali slams a left hook into Al Blue Lewis during a scheduled 12-round heavyweight fight at Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, July 19, 1972. Ali won in the 11th round when the referee stopped the fight. Source: AP/Press Association Images

It was not the only time the sporting icon came to Ireland. In 2009, he visited Ennis, Co Clare, his ancestral home — Ali’s great-grandfather, Abe Grady, had emigrated to the US from Ireland in the 1860s.

A crowd of 10,000 turned out for a civic reception to mark Ali’s visit, with the boxing legend subsequently being made the first Honorary Freeman of Ennis.

Source: Colm Flynn/YouTube

The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add!

From Rome to Manila: Muhammad Ali ‘shook up the world>

‘It’s not bragging if you can back it up’ – 10 of Muhammad Ali’s greatest quotes>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel