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    1978 Muhammad Ali Handwritten Ten-Page Speech with Extraordinary Content. The Louisville Lip was unquestionably one of the most captivating extemporaneous speakers in sports history, but here he carefully constructs his verbal argument for an instant rematch with Leon Spinks in a ten-page handwritten document. Spinks, of course, had famously upset the Greatest in February 1978, a loss that many (Ali himself included) chalked up to his overconfidence and resultant lack of preparation. But Ali would learn from his mistake, avenging his loss seven months later at New Orleans' Superdome.

    This speech was delivered soon after the February defeat, and includes such glorious content as "...the majority of the people around the world want to see me have a chance to regain the title for the third time..." and "...when I won the Champ from Sonny Liston I gave him an immediate rematch, not because I had to, but I felt it was only fair to give the man a chance who gave me a chance..."

    Later he discusses his bouts with Foreman and Norton, the latter of which was himself campaigning for the next shot at Spinks' belt. The author effectively signs his speech at the end, writing, "So who is most deserving of the first shot at the title, Muhammad Ali or Ken Norton?"

    Effectively a brief and poignant handwritten autobiography and a precursor to the achievement of Ali's greatest legacy--three Heavyweight Championships--this document shares the same rarefied air as earlier Heritage offerings like Ali's 1964 handwritten letter to Life Magazine confirming his conversion to Islam ($131,450) and his 1966 letter to the Selective Service requesting exemption from the Vietnam draft ($334,600).

    Pages (8.5x11") exhibit general handling and light toning but no problems of note, and ink survives at 8/10 or better strength. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from SGC Authentic.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2017
    11th-13th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 2
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