Search our Archives for press releases from other collectibles:
- All Press Releases
- Art Press Releases
- Coin Press Releases
- Comics Press Releases
- Currency Press Releases
- Domain Names & Intellectual Property Press Releases
- Entertainment Press Releases
- Historical Press Releases
- Jewelry, Timepieces & Luxury Accessories
- Movie Poster Press Releases
- Real Estate Press Releases
- Sports Press Releases
- Wine Press Releases
Press Release - July 31, 2014
Muhammad Ali Fight-Worn Gloves From 1971 'Fight Of The Century' Against Frazier Bring $388,375 At AuctionAli's gloves from his first in a trio of fights against Frazier, which culminated in "The Thrilla in Manila," realize more than $388,375 in Heritage Auctions' July 31 Sports Auction at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, OH
"'The Fight of the Century,' as it was billed, more than lived up to its billing despite the fact the Ali lost," said Chris Ivy. "I can think of no piece of memorabilia associated with it that could be more evocative than the gloves the Ali wore. Yes, he was defeated, but the fight really changed Ali as a man, starting the transition from a brilliant, rash rabble-rouser into the most beloved sports figure of the 20th century, if not of all time."
At the time, both fighters owned a legitimate claim to the Heavyweight Championship of the World, though only Frazier held the title officially. Ali's reign, which had begun in 1964 when he had beaten Sonny Liston, ended because of his refusal to enter the Vietnam draft. He became the most polarizing figure in American sports, fueling an antipathy within a segment of the American populace unseen since the reign of Jack Johnson. The country was polarized around the match: those who supported the Vietnam War and the failing cause of racial segregation vs. the anti-war crowd and those who favored the Civil Rights movement.
"IT's hard for us today to imagine the incredible hype around the fight, but the world completely stopped when it came time for the fighters to enter the ring in Las Vegas," said Ivy. "While our heavyweight collectors wouldn't have stood a chance in the ring, they certainly duked it out, through multiple rounds of bidding, before our winner emerged victorious."
The gloves were purchased by a collector who did not wish to be identified.
These gloves, according to Heritage specialists, are the most significant boxing gloves to reach the auction block since those worn by Ali to claim his first World Championship from Sonny Liston in 1964 drew a final bid of $836,500 in a Heritage auction in February 2014 in New York City. Like those gloves, these derive from the personal collection of Ali's renowned trainer Angelo Dundee.
This first professional loss for Muhammad Ali gave birth to the narrative that the former Champion was now a "has-been" who should have remained in exile from the sport, setting the stage for what may be his most celebrated victory against the heavily-favored George Foreman in Zaire. Though Ali would publicly decry the loss, he privately acknowledged the legitimacy of Frazier's victory, setting a course for his own redefinition from an arrogant invincible to resilient three-time Champion of the World.
- Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
- Bid online
- Free Collector newsletter
- Want List with instant e-mail notifications
- Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
- Cash Advances
- More Bidders
- Trusted Experts
- Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
Learn about consigning with us
Several people contacted me who felt similarly about the way the auction was handled. At this point in my career I'm much more concerned with the respectful professionalism in all forms when it comes to my life's work. I truly appreciate your efforts in tView More Testimonials