May 25th, 2016 Summer Games Catalog Auction (#46)
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This lot is closed. Bidding ended on 5/26/2016.
Muhammad Ali participated in three of the most significant boxing matches in history, but none held more weight in terms of cultural significance than “The Rumble In The Jungle” on October 30th, 1974 against George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire. After being stripped of his title and suspended from boxing, Ali had to climb back to the top of the sport but was unable to reach its peak after losing the Fight Of The Century against Joe Frazier. But, like champions do, Ali worked his way towards the top again, earning a title fight against a bruising, athletically superior George Foreman, a fighter with a perfect 40-0 record at the age of 25. Ali was an 8-to-1 underdog against the champion. During the fight fight, Ali’s tactical genius shined brightest, created a unique rope-a-dope fighting style just for the match against Foreman. A tired Foreman became vulnerable from the amount of punches thrown, and Ali landed a five-punch combination towards the end of the round that put Foreman on his back. Although Foreman got up with a second remaining in the 10-second count, the referee stopped the fight. Ali was back atop the boxing and sports world again and changed his public perception from public enemy No. 1 to hero status. Ali regained the Heavyweight Championship and had no problem promoting that he was once again, “The Greatest”. These white satin boxing trunks were worn by Ali during this historic fight. The black trim is slightly faded at the waistband and down the piping of each leg. The manufacturing label reads, “EVERLAST - MADE IN U.S.A. - Made Expressly For MUHAMMAD ALI”. A visual comparison of the position and proximity of the Everlast label on these trunks to the pair worn by Ali is quite favorable. The label is cut close to the top of the waistband and the position of the black seams adjacent to the label on both sides matches perfectly. There is no size tag in the trunks, but they appear to be large to extra-large, which is consistent with known Ali exemplars from the mid 1970s. There are no tears or rips in the trunks, but there is slight staining on the back right side. Our consignor purchased these trunks during a Christie’s auction that featured The Ronnie Paloger Collection. Paloger obtained these trunks directly from Ali’s business manager Gene Kilroy in 1992. Kilroy can be see in Ali’s corner in period images and then again in the ring after the fight. These trunks are accompanied by a copy of a Kilroy LOA that states the trunks were in his possession ever since the end of the fight. Paloger sold these trunks, and other items from his Ali collection, in a 10/19/1997 Christie’s auction. These trunks were presented to us as fight-worn in “The Rumble In The Jungle” and in our opinion, shows appropriate fight wear. Accompanied by a Craig Hamilton LOA, an invoice from the Christie’s auction when the trunks were originally purchased by our consignor and a copy of an LOA from Ali’s business manager, Kilroy. There aren’t many pieces of memorabilia that carry more cultural significance in the entire history of sports, and this is without a doubt the crown jewel of any and all boxing memorabilia.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $25,000
Price Realized: $113,938
Number Bids: 16
Auction closed on Thursday, May 26, 2016.
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