What’s the Story? Podcast

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Chapter 53: Dave Hannigan on Muhammad Ali

July 9, 2016

On June 3rd 2016 we said goodbye to arguably the greatest sports star ever, Muhammad Ali. A three time World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic Gold Medal winner, Muhammad Ali started life as Cassius Clay. Growing up in Louiseville, Kentucky, Clay had his bike stolen at the age of 12 and vowed to "whup that theif". The police officer who had the stolen bike reported to him told Clay he better learn how to "whup" somebody and take up boxing. The rest is history. 

Dave Hannigan is an Irish writer, journalist and professor based in New York. He has a weekly column that appears in Thursday's Irish Times and his upcoming book "Drama in the Bahamas: Muhammad Ali's last fight" documents the strange and fascinating case of Ali's last ever boxing match in December 1981. 
Through interviews with many of those involved, he discovers exactly how and why, a few weeks short of his fortieth birthday, a seriously diminished Ali stepped through the ropes one more time to get beaten up by Trevor Berbick. 

This is not Dave's first book on Ali, in 2012 "The Big Fight" was released and it tells the brilliant story of how a Kerry circus performer brought Ali to fight in Croke Park. Almost 34 years to day since Ali took on Al "Blue" Lewis in Dublin, on his way to taking back the Heavyweight crown, we hear about that fight and the circumstances around it from Dave who knows all there is to know about Ireland being a footnote in the career of the greatest of all time. 

All of this and loads more besides...

Check out Dave on Twitter, @DaveyHannigan and we're @WTSpod - don't forget to rate, review and subscribe on iTunes