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    Circa 1974 Muhammad Ali Headgear Used in Training for "The Rumble in the Jungle."
    It's arguably the most famous bout in boxing history, a dramatic battle in Kinshasa, Zaire pitting the seemingly irresistible ferocity of reigning Heavyweight Champion George Foreman against the wily resurgence of underdog Ali, a former two-time belt-holder aiming for his third trip to the mountain top. Like all transcendent sporting events, from the 1951 "Shot Heard 'round the World" to the 1980 "Miracle on Ice," the "Rumble in the Jungle" captivated the imagination of a populace deeply divided in its allegiances, in this case mostly related to perceptions regarding Ali's patriotism in light of his controversial Vietnam War stance, and the relative "authentic blackness" of the two combatants.

    We all know how the story played out--for the better part of seven rounds, Muhammad Ali leaned against the ropes in a defensive shell, weathering the whirlwind of punches that rarely found soft flesh, instead glancing off the former Champ's arms and shoulders. This "Rope-a-Dope" strategy worked like a charm, and when Ali sensed that Foreman's aggression was subsiding to exhaustion in the oppressive African heat, he unleashed his own quick fury of blows, sending the Goliath cartwheeling to the canvas for a stunning eighth-round knockout.

    This win captivated the imagination of a populace and elevated his status amongst those formerly deeply divided in their allegiances, in this case mostly related to perceptions regarding Ali's patriotism in light of his controversial stance as a "conscientious objector" status against serving in the Vietnam War, as well as his pride in the color of his skin. These were controversial positions which at that time were both inspirational and bold, depending on one's perceptions.

    Muhammad Ali's physical conditioning and mental tenacity, not to mention the crowds in Kinshasa shouting "Ali Bomaye!" ("Ali, kill him") at Forman upon his arrival, all contributed to this dynamic win.

    Ali's charitable endeavors didn't end when his in-ring career concluded. Our consignor worked in partnership with Ali and cornerman "Bundini" Brown to create the Muhammad Ali World Boxing Organization (MAWBO) between 1986-87. Brown worked with our consignor and arranged for a meeting in Chicago in 1987 with Ali and his manager Herbert Muhammed. The Champ personally gifted this Everlast headgear to our consignor as a token of appreciation.

    The leather offering shows use but was not abused. The inside has sweat staining from those long hours in the ring. A large, rectangular, white manufacturer's tag at the front with black lettering reads "Everlast. Made in USA. Made Expressly For Muhammad Ali." A "X-Large" size tag is applied inside. This is one of only a few that has surfaced, and remains one of the most intimate collectibles due to the purpose, era and physical time the Champ actually treasured it, as it was his personal keepsake for years.
    Our consignor's notarized letter states the following: "Ali was delighted with the MAWBO and he presented two gifts; his personalized Koran with the additional inscription "Service to other is the price we pay for rent here on Earth" (not available), and at the end of the meeting, he gifted this original Everlast headgear as a "symbol of friendship," which he believed he wore to train in around the "Rumble in the Jungle" fight in 1974." Notarized letter of provenance from consignor.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 877

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    Sold on Aug 20, 2017 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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