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    The Louisville Lip stuns the world, claims first Heavyweight Championship!

    1964 Clay vs. Liston Judges' Scorecards from Miami Beach Bout. "I shook up the world! I shook up the world!" The brash young Cassius Clay, never at a loss for words, perfectly summed up the situation with those five words in his joyous rant while Sonny Liston looked on from a stool in his corner after failing to answer the seventh round bell. The seven to one underdog was the new Heavyweight Champion.

    The career of Muhammad Ali has had more iconic moments than any other in the history of pugilism--the "Phantom Punch," the Rumble, the Thrilla--but there's nothing like the first time, and his assumption of the sport's most celebrated title at the Miami Beach Convention Center on February 25, 1964 could certainly be considered Ali's greatest victory of all. Like his other most famous bouts, it was a mixture of the sweet science and gritty determination that won the day. After dominating the Champion in the early rounds, peppering Liston's face with sharp jabs and then stepping clear of his retaliatory left hooks, Ali was temporarily blinded in the fourth by a foreign substance applied inadvertently or otherwise to Liston's gloves.

    We see the result in the judges' scorecards. Barney Felix and Gus Jacobs scored the next round ten to nine for Liston, while Bunny Levitt was moved by the lopsided action to score the round ten-eight. But when Ali's vision cleared for the sixth, the judges found unanimously in favor of the challenger, who was able to entirely frustrate the Champ once again with his vastly superior mobility. It would be the last round the judges would have to score this day.

    From each of the three judges at ringside, we have the six "round cards" upon which the judge has scored on the "10 Point Must System" and then signed his name at bottom for verification. The seventh piece from each is the "Miami Beach Boxing Commission Official Score Card," upon which these results are transcribed and tallied. These are the cards that would have been turned over to the ring announcer had the fight gone to a decision. Again, each referee has signed his card at the bottom for verification. It's particularly intriguing to note that, at the close of six rounds, one judge had Clay ahead on points, another Liston. The third saw it three rounds apiece.

    Only two sets of judges' scorecards have survived from the career of Muhammad Ali, the other being for the first Spinks fight. Obviously it goes without saying that this set is the more important of the two. Originally sold in the famous Paloger sale in 1997, the cards were subsequently exhibited for some time at the Muhammad Ali Museum and Exhibition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. On the heels of our $836,500 result earlier this year for Ali's gloves from this bout, these historic scorecards now find their way back to the hobby's auction block, destined to become the centerpiece of one lucky winning bidder's private collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2014
    31st-1st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
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