PIC: The Gardai's tribute to Muhammad Ali captures 'The Champ' at his charismatic best in Ireland 2 years ago

PIC: The Gardai's tribute to Muhammad Ali captures 'The Champ' at his charismatic best in Ireland

The Champ enjoyed some GAA, whiskey and craic in Ireland.

Words like icon, legendary and heroic are used far too often to describe athletes, but in the case of Muhammad Ali, there aren't enough superlatives to do the three-time world heavyweight champion justice.

The world was united in grief this morning when it was announced that Ali died from a respiratory illness which was complicated by his Parkinson's disease. He had been on life support for the last 24 hours.

George Foreman, Floyd Mayweather and Mike Tyson have paid some poignant tributes but this effort from An Garda Síochána has a distinctly Irish feel.

Here's Ali playing-up to his reputation as someone that's not afraid to challenge authority or the established order via his patented mix of charisma, humour and charm.

We believe that the photo was taken in 1972 when Ali fought in Croke Park. Before the fight took place, it's clear that he enjoyed his very brief tour of the country. Take a look at the video below as he marvels at the level of respect that Irish people have for their history, culture and customs.

It's clear that Ali was extremely fond of Irish whiskey, saying that it “takes a long time to make” but doesn’t “take long to drink”. 'The Champ' also felt that GAA and hurling were "pretty rough" sports.

Ali won the fight against Al ‘Blue’ Lewis  by TKO in the 11th round and Ireland made quite an impression on the iconic boxer. He would later return to these shores for the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics in 2003 and six years later when he visited Ennis, Co Clare, his ancestral home.