1973 Muhammad Ali Fight Worn Trunks from Norton II Bout. "Was this a big fight? Hell yes," explained Ali's Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee. "Muhammad was Muhammad, and people started to realize, 'Hey, Norton is for real.' This was a fight." The first meeting had ended with a split decision victory for Norton, Ali's first professional defeat, though the Louisville Lip was honored by the boxing press for his toughness after x-rays indicated that Ali's jaw had been broken, in the second round according to the man himself. Ali had demanded a rematch immediately afterwards, and Norton saw no option but to accept. "One thing was money," he explained. "Number two, I had to show him I had no fear of him. And, three, if I hadn't given him the rematch, can you imagine what the press and public would've said?"

    The match would be held in Los Angeles, a decision influenced by the success of the first meeting in San Diego. Ali well understood that a second loss would ruin any chance of meeting George Foreman to reclaim his Championship belt, and, at the close of twelve rounds of boxing, it was he who would find himself on the winning end of a judges' split decision. Though Norton was convinced he was robbed, believing that Ali was improperly handed the victory for the benefit of the sport of boxing and Ali's reputation, he would later explain, "It doesn't bother me today, because I understand why. Ali was the man back then. I was like everyone else. I was a bit in awe of him. I think it was an honor that a promoter even thought I was in the same class as him."

    Presented are the distinctive black-trimmed white satin trunks that we recall from all of Muhammad Ali's most memorable battles, these worn as he avenged his defeat by Ken Norton at the Los Angeles Forum on September 10, 1973. The trunks show fine wear, and hold the important "Everlast" label at center of the black pleated waistband, emblazoned with the text "Made Expressly For Muhammad Ali." A few small rust spots are noted for the sake of accuracy, but cause no concern. A wonderful black sharpie inscription from the trunk's former owner appears at right thigh, reading, "Muhammad Ali, Three Time Champ, The Greatest, 11-19-92." The trunks were originally purchased from Ali's lead entourage member Drew "Bundini" Brown, who had identified the trunks in vintage black ink at the interior, "Sept. 10, 1973, Los Angeles." Ideal provenance is further supplied by a letter from Ali himself attesting to the trunks' history. While any fight worn material from this iconic pugilist carries tremendous collecting appeal, these trunks worn in one of the greatest boxing trilogies in the sport's long history place the offered lot close to the top of all available specimens. Letter of provenance from Muhammad Ali. Auction LOA from James Spence Authentication (autograph).

    Guide Value or Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Clothing, Costumes & Jerseys (view shipping information)

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2009
    23rd-24th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
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