Muhammad Ali's 'Thrilla' trunks see 55.3% increase in four months



2015-06-26 12:56:35

Muhammad Ali's 'Thrilla' trunks see 55.3% increase in four months

The trunks worn by Muhammad Ali at the Thrilla in Manila have seen an impressive rise in value

The trunks that Muhammad Ali wore in the classic Thrilla in Manila fight have sold with impressive results at Heritage Auctions' Vintage Sports Collectibles sale in Baltimore.

Muhammad Ali thrilla in Manila trunks Ali described the match as the "closest thing to dying that I know of"

Last night (August 2) at the National Sports Collectors Convention, the trunks saw a 55.3% increase in value from the last time they appeared at auction on April 16, when they doubled the pre-sale estimate of $50,000 to achieve $100,000. Yesterday's sale saw the trunks go for $155,350 - an impressive 210.7% rise from their initial valuation four months ago.

The trunks, which were enhanced by a bold signature from Ali, were worn during the famed 1975 Thrilla in Manila bout with Joe Frazier - the most high profile of three fights in a long-standing rivalry. They were formerly in the possession of his assistant trainer, Drew "Bundini" Brown, and were discovered abandoned in a locker after his death with details of the fight scrawled across the front.

The auction is a great example of a knowledgeable investor capitalising on the current buoyancy of the sports collectibles market, and the power of Ali's memorabilia at auction. The trunks Ali wore in his "fight of the century" against Joe Frazier in 1971 sold for $173,102 in November 2011, setting a new world record for boxing memorabilia at auction. His signature is also on the up, with a 13.38% pa increase in value since 2000, according to the PFC40 Autograph Index.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a stunning autographed drawing of Muhammad Ali currently on offer, which is available at a superb price. We also have an iconic signed photograph from Ali's encounter with The Beatles back in 1964 - a moment worth remembering.

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