Lot 11: Ali Vs. Liston One of the Most Iconic Sports Photos Ever Taken!
26th April 2018
So much of great photography is being in the right spot at the right moment. That was what it was like for sports illustrated photographer Neil Leifer when he shot perhaps the greatest sports photo of the century. This is that very shot which was a limited edition of 350, which this is 16/350, this shot is inscribed and signed by the photographer to Arthur Cooper (Editor-In-Chief of GQ Magazine for over 20 years and was a big promoter of Ali and Liefer. Actually he helped pick Ali as athlete of the century for one of his covers and stories. Niel Liefer wrote "Art who just like Ali is the greatest....! Neil ") What a great association and an amazing photo! Title: Muhammad Ali reacts after his first round knockout of Sonny Liston during the 1965 World Heavyweight Title fight at St. Dominic's Arena, Lewiston, Maine, 5/25/65. Print is signed by both the photographer and prominently by Muhammad Ali. It's edition of 350 is long sold out. Dimensions: Image size 20 x 21 inches (51 x 53 cm.) Medium: Chromogenic photographic print Leifer said about the photo“I was obviously in the right seat, but what matters is I didn’t miss,” he later said. Leifer had taken that ringside spot in Lewiston, Maine, on May 25, 1965, as 23-year-old heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali squared off against 34-year-old Sonny Liston, the man he’d snatched the title from the previous year. One minute and 44 seconds into the first round, Ali’s right fist connected with Liston’s chin and Liston went down. Leifer snapped the photo of the champ towering over his vanquished opponent and taunting him, “Get up and fight, sucker!” Power¬ful overhead lights and thick clouds of cigar smoke had turned the ring into the perfect studio, and Leifer took full advantage. His perfectly composed image captures Ali radiating the strength and poetic brashness that made him the nation’s most beloved and reviled athlete, at a moment when sports, politics and popular culture were being squarely battered in the tumult of the ’60s.
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