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    Description

    "I hereby apply to be allowed to use the name of Muhammad Ali..."

    1966 Muhammad Ali Signed Letter to British Boxing Control Requesting Use of His Adopted Name. It was three years ago that Heritage Auctions smashed the world record for an athlete's letter with a $334,600 result for the 1966 missive sent by Muhammad Ali to the National Director of Selective Service requesting a religious exemption from the Vietnam War draft. Just two months earlier, he had directed the single-page document presented here to the British Boxing Board of Control requesting that all promotional material for his upcoming match with Brian London utilize the name he had adopted upon his conversion to Islam.

    Certainly many parallels could be drawn between the two documents, each speaking directly to the challenges of this personal transformation, one which would cleave the boxing fanbase and the wider world along dividing lines of race, religion and politics. We are not well-versed in the various protocols of the 1960's boxing commission of the United Kingdom, but Ali must have felt compelled to make this request despite the fact that promotional materials for his his technical knockout victory over Henry Cooper at England's famed Arsenal Football Stadium just eleven weeks before the Brian London bout did feature his Muslim name. The request voiced by this letter would be honored again for tickets, programs and posters.

    Simple in form but towering in stature, this single typed page (11x8.5") bears Ali's 7/10 black ink signature at the close. The page exhibits flattened folds, and filing holes at top, but no condition issues that bear any negative effect. It is framed with a promotional envelope and on-site poster for the contest, as well as the lot tags from the Christie's sale of famed boxing collector Ronnie Paloger in 1997. Full LOA from SGC Authentic. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication. LOA from JO Sports/Craig Hamilton. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.


    Guide Value or Estimate: $10,000 - up.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2019
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 581

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