Muhammad Ali in the land of blarney

Tuesday, 17 January, 2012

blarney: flattering talk (noun); to cajole with flattery; wheedle (verb). In the boxing record of Muhammad Ali, who is 70 today, a win over Alvin ‘Al Blue’ Lewis by means of a TKO (technical knockout) in the 11th round is recorded as having taken place in Dublin, Ireland, on 19 July 1972. On the eve of the fight, Ali was interviewed for Irish television by Cathal O’Shannon, who died in October last year. Although the champion appeared somewhat reluctant to go through yet another TV interview, he warmed up as O’Shannon turned on the charm and soon the two men were scoring points off each other in what became a memorable display of blarney.

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