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Worn and signed during training for Rome Olympics1960 Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) Training Worn & Signed Boxing Trunks. A Gold Medal in the Light Heavyweight division of the 1960 Rome Olympics transformed this eighteen year-old phenom from local Louisville hero into the sport's top contender, setting course for a 1964 meeting with Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston and the first of three title belts. Presented is a seminal artifact from Muhammad Ali's rise to greatness, a pair of trunks worn in training at the Louisville gym where the most famous boxer that ever lived learned his trade.
Ali historians are well aware that young Cassius Clay got his start in the sport when his bicycle was stolen and a helpful policeman filing the report named Joe Martin convinced him to turn his youthful aggression toward a positive athletic pursuit. This red and gold pair of trunks was part of the young fighter's training wardrobe at the Columbia Street Gym in Louisville, and was later displayed in the gym's trophy case to inspire other young boxers to follow Ali's world-beating example.
The "Post" brand trunks are notated with a simple vintage "CC" at rear interior waistband and exhibit heavy use from the long path from anonymity to immortality. A vintage ink inscription on front makes a gift of the trunks to gym employee Perry Knox: "To Perry, Your Friend, Cassius Clay 1960." The ink competes for contrast against the red satin fabric, but rates a technical 7/10. The original Columbia Gym museum typed identification tag remains affixed at waistband.
Gear from the man named the "Sportsman of the Century" in Sports Illustrated magazine's accounting of twentieth century athletics is fiercely coveted by the collecting marketplace, but those few relics dating to Ali's rise to prominence are particularly scarce and desirable. Rarer still are those pieces both worn and autographed by Ali, elevating this offering to the pinnacle of this competitive collecting subgenre. Letter of provenance from Jole Martin (daughter of Joe Martin). LOA from Craig Hamilton, JO Sports. LOA from Heritage Auctions.
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas