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    1963 Sonny Liston Mink Gloves Created to Promote First Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) Bout.
    Though it was his brash young challenger that was making a name for himself as a master showman, the reigning Champ proved he had a bit of P.T. Barnum flair himself when he unveiled the presented mink gloves at a press conference with Cassius Clay, who would claim Liston's belt in Miami Beach on February 25, 1964. Liston, understandably annoyed at Clay's immodest predictions of victory and his referring to the former gangland enforcer as "a big, ugly bear," explained that he would wear these gloves in their forthcoming fight so that he wouldn't mark up Clay's pretty face. The publicity stunt was the lead story in every boxing column nationwide the next day.

    More than a half century after that playfully menacing press conference, the gloves in question remain in fine condition, just as did Clay's face when he jubilantly proclaimed, "I shook up the world!" The soft cream-colored fur has come loose at the seams to some degree, but this could be easily restored, and it is hardly even apparent unless the gloves are handled. If we lift the fur at a loose seam, we can see the "Frager" labeling of the glove, a model favored by Liston.

    In fact, there is reason to believe that the gloves were used in combat prior to their comical repurposing. We find handwriting at each interior wrist, faded beyond legibility, but typical of fight worn gloves. Also we see minor surface loss to the leather at the base of each wrist, suggesting tape removal. Compare the gloves (minus the mink, of course) to his fight worn pair from the Clay contest, also on offer within this auction, and you will see they bear a close resemblance.

    Included in the lot is one 8x10 original newspaper press photo and four one of a kind oversized (13.5"x9") original Sports Illustrated photos documenting the exchange at the press conference, two of which clearly picture these mink gloves. LOA from Craig Hamilton. LOA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2016
    10th Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,292

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