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    1958 Cassius Clay Jefferson County Athletic Club Trophy. It was a petty crime that set into motion the events that would create the most famous pugilist in the long and storied history of boxing. The year was 1954, and a twelve-year old Cassius had left his new red Schwinn bicycle outside the Columbia Auditorium to visit a bazaar inside. Returning to find an empty space where his bike had been, Cassius flew into a tearful rage, and was led to a police officer named Joe Martin in the basement of a nearby boxing gym to file a report. "I'll whup whoever stole it," Cassius reported to the officer through his sobs. Martin suggested that if Cassius wished to do so, he had better come around the gym and learn how to fight.

    Offered on the following pages are the earliest fruits of the labor that came as a result of that fateful meeting with Clay's first trainer and mentor, Joe Martin. Clay quickly became a fixture at the Columbia Street Gym in Louisville, and just as quickly proved himself both naturally gifted and disciplined beyond his years. Only six years after the theft of his Schwinn, Cassius Clay would stand atop the podium at the Rome Summer Games. And less than a decade after that sad afternoon in Louisville, Sonny Liston would not answer the bell for the seventh round in Miami Beach, and Clay would be crowned as Heavyweight Champion of the World. These exceptional, one-of-a-kind trophies mark the earliest stages of this legend's climb to the pinnacle of the boxing world.

    Another prize won by the young future king as a sixteen-year old amateur. Measuring 10" from the base to the top of the boxer's head, the trophy bears an engraved plaque on the bakelite base which reads, "Jefferson County Athletic Club, Boxing Finals Division Winner, 1958." Written in vintage white marker on the back are the words, "Won by Cassius Clay 1958." This piece was acquired by a long-time Ali collector from a gentleman with unique access to the Deer Lake, Pennsylvania training facilities that Ali called home. Signed letter of provenance explains the details.

    Condition: Trophy remains in outstanding condition, with no chipping or cracking to be found. Only the expected oxidation of the metal (likely improved with cleaning if desired) and very minor surface wear to the boxing figure could be considered at all noteworthy. LOA from Craig Hamilton/ JO Sports.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2005
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 795

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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