New documentary on Ali's Irish fight


A new documentary on Muhammad Ali’s visit to Ireland will be broadcast on New Year’s Day.

When Ali Came to Ireland tells the story of Michael "Butty" Sugrue, the man who convinced the champion boxer to fight here.

Ali, who had just suffered his first loss against Joe Frazier, fought Alvin Lewis in Croke Park in 1972. Fighting before a packed crowd, Ali eventually overcame his opponent with an eleventh round TKO.

The documentary, which will be aired at 6.30pm on RTÉ One, will show the impact the trip had on Ali, according to filmmaker Ross Whitaker.

“It took five years to get this made but in a way that was a good thing as this year is the 40th anniversary of the fight. It was a joy to make,” he said.

“The world of boxing is full of characters and wherever Ali went, a gang of lovable rogues would follow."

A special preview of the documentary will take place at the Irish Film Institute on Sunday.