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Lot
80063

1974 Muhammad Ali Fight Worn Mouthpiece from "The Rumble in the Jungle!"...

2012 August 2 Vintage Sports Collectibles Platinum Night Signature Auction- Baltimore #7057

 
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Auction Ended On: Aug 2, 2012
Item Activity: 4 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: B & O Warehouse, 6th Floor
Camden Yard Banquet Room
333 West Camden Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Description:
Important Relic from the Famed George Foreman Bout in Zaire.
1974 Muhammad Ali Fight Worn Mouthpiece from "The Rumble in the Jungle!" It's arguably the most famous bout in boxing history, a dramatic battle in Kinshasa, Zaire pitting the seemingly irresistible ferocity of reigning Heavyweight Champion George Foreman against the wily resurgence of underdog Ali, a former two-time belt-holder aiming for his third trip to the mountain top. Like all transcendent sporting events, from the 1951 "Shot Heard 'round the World" to the 1980 "Miracle on Ice," the "Rumble in the Jungle" captivated the imagination of a populace deeply divided in its allegiances, in this case mostly related to perceptions regarding Ali's patriotism in light of his controversial Vietnam War stance, and the relative "authentic blackness" of the two combatants.

We all know how the story played out--for the better part of seven rounds, Muhammad Ali leaned against the ropes in a defensive shell, weathering the whirlwind of punches that rarely found soft flesh, instead glancing off the former Champ's arms and shoulders. This "Rope-a-Dope" strategy worked like a charm, and when Ali sensed that Foreman's aggression was subsiding to exhaustion in the oppressive African heat, he unleashed his own quick fury of blows, sending the Goliath cartwheeling to the canvas for a stunning eighth-round knockout.

Presented here is the mouthpiece that was clenched between Ali's teeth as he scored the most famous knockout of his iconic career while cementing his status as the ring's greatest tactician. Twin letters of provenance from top boxing collectibles expert Craig Hamilton and the daughter of famous Ali trainer Wali Muhammad attest that the mouthpiece was saved by Mr. Muhammad, who wrote "ALI" in marker on the underside and saved it in the included "Albolene" skin cream plastic container. On the tape, Muhammad wrote "1974 ALI 74 ALI." On the bottom of the container is written "ZAIRE." The distinct impression of Ali's teeth could provide further forensic proof should one gain access to Ali's dental records or Ali himself, and perhaps one might even extract a sample of DNA to clone a charismatic future Champion. LOA from Craig Hamilton. LOA from Wali Muhammad's daughter.




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Service and Handling Description: Balls, Pucks, etc. - Encased, Small (view shipping information)

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