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On This Day: July 19th

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1972: The most famous man in the World, Muhammad Ali, came to Dublin for a fight at the home of Gaelic Games.

‘The Greatest’ took on Al ‘Blue’ Lewis in a non-title bout at Croke Park and scored an eleventh round stoppage win.

The clash came during a period of rebuilding for Ali in the aftermath of his defeat to Joe Frazier for the heavyweight title in March 1971.

Ali put Lewis down heavily at the end of the fifth but the Detroit boxer was saved by a very long count and the bell to end the round.

Fighting in second gear, Ali toyed with his dangerous opponent, being largely untroubled, until the bout was called to a halt by ref Lew Eskin with Lewis not able to offer anything back.

The bout was promoted by Kerry publican Butty Sugrue, who lost a lot of money running the show which only attracted approximately 18,000 punters.

Watch the fight in full below:

RTÉ Documentary: When Ali Came to Ireland

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie