Top 10: Boxing memorabilia
The Top 10 most expensive boxing memorabilia items are dominated by one man: Muhammad Ali. His famous Rumble in the Jungle in 1974 against George Foreman occupies several of the top positions. However, the much-missed Joe Frazier also makes a welcome appearance.
10. Muhammad Ali fight worn gloves vs Zora Folley - $29,900
The gloves Ali wore in the ninth defence of his heavyweight title, against Zora Folley in New York in March 1967, sold for $29,900 at Christie’s in October 1997.
9. Muhammad Ali fight-worn robe - $30,000
A Muhammad Ali fight-worn robe from his bout against Chuck Wepner on March 24, 1975, was sold for $30,000 at Important Sports Memorabilia and Cards in December 2005.
8. Muhammad Ali fight worn gloves vs Leon Spinks - $32,200
The gloves Ali wore in capturing a record-breaking third heavyweight championship, against Leon Spinks in New Orleans in 1978, sold for $32,200 at Christie’s in October 1997.
7. Joe Frazier fight worn robe from the Thrilla in Manilla - $40,000
The robe Frazier wore into the ring on October 1, 1975 in his third fight and final fight against Ali sold for $40,000 at Sotheby’s in April 2008.
Ali won the bout, with Frazier, who was blind in one eye, unable to see out of his good one due to the pummelling he had received. At the end of round 14, Frazier’s trainer, Eddie Futch, threw in the towel, telling his charge: “No one will forget what you did here today".
6. Cassius Clay bout worn gloves against Henry Cooper - £37,600
The Baily’s gloves Cassius Clay wore in his successful bout against British boxer Henry Cooper in June 1963 sold for £37,600 ($53,091) at Christie’s in 2001.
They have been signed “To Alex from Muhammad Ali, Jan-14-79”.
5. Muhammad Ali Rumble in the Jungle trunks - $57,500
The trunks Ali wore for The Rumble in the Jungle fight against George Foreman in Zaire in 1974 made $57,500 at a Christie’s auction in 1997.
The victory saw Ali win back his title at the age of 32, seven years after relinquishing it due to his refusal to be drafted for the Vietnam War.
4. Muhammad Ali Rumble in the Jungle shoes - $59,700
The shoes Ali wore during the fight against Foreman sold for $59,700 at Christie’s in 1997.
3. Muhammad Ali 'Thriller in manila' trunks - $100,000
Ali's white Everlast trunks, worn during the epic 'Thrilla in Manila' bout against Joe Frazier in October 1975, sold for a price of $100,000 in May 2012 at a Robert Edwards Auctions sale.
2. Muhammad Ali Rumble in the Jungle fight robe- $156,500
Ali wore the white robe, decorated with African patterns and beadwork, into the ring prior to his successful bout against George Foreman in 1974.
Ali won with a KO in round 8, thanks to his "rope-a-dope" tactics.
It achieved $156,000 at a Christie’s auction in October 1997.
1. Muhammad Ali 'Fight of the Century' trunks
Ali's first fight against the champion Joe Frazier took place at Madison Square Garden in New York in March 1971. Dubbed 'The Fight of the Century', it was Ali's first fight in three years after being barred from the ring for refusing the Vietnam War draft.
Viewed as a battle between two polar ideals, the liberal anti-war movement versus the conservative pro-war establishment, the fight took on an important symbolism in the U.S. It ended with Ali's first defeat in his professional career, but would serve as the first chapter in Frazier and Ali's continuing rivalry.
In November 2011, the red trunks worn by Ali during the fight were sold at auction by SCP Auctions for a price of $173,102, making them the most expensive piece of boxing memorabilia ever sold.
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