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    1958 Cassius Clay Kentucky Golden Gloves 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.

    A sixteen-year old Clay earned this impressive prize for taking top honors in his home state tournament. Measuring 20" from the base to the top of the boxer's head, the trophy bears an engraved plaque on the bakelight base which reads, "Kentucky Golden Gloves Tournament Division Champion, 1958." Four eagles perch at the corners, and a tall column rises at the center, holding the boxing figurine aloft. For years the trophy was displayed in a glass case at the Columbia Street Gym, where Clay had taken his very first swing at the heavy bag. When the gym closed in the 1960's, the trophies were given to a loyal employee by the name of Dan Devlin, a former amateur fighter and longtime maintenance man at the gym. Included letter of provenance comes from the gentleman who purchased the trophy from Devlin's son.

    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, 2006
    6th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,001

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

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