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    Spinks becomes the only man ever to take Ali's title in combat

    1978 Muhammad Ali & Leon Spinks Signed Fight Contracts for First Bout. This pair of Boxing Hall of Famers met twice in a seven-month period in 1978, and here we present the paperwork that sealed the deal on the first contest, setting the stage for a fifteen-round war that saw Ali surrender his second Heavyweight belt that he had earned four years earlier from George Foreman in the fabled "Rumble in the Jungle." Ali had been expected to handle the novice Spinks easily, but instead the challenger outpointed the Champ in a fifteen-round decision to set a record by claiming the title in just his eighth professional bout, a speed unprecedented and since unbeaten.

    The upset victory would set the stage for a rematch heralded as "The Battle of New Orleans" in which Ali would avenge his defeat and become the only three-time lineal Heavyweight Champion of the World.

    This contract took its first turn on the hobby's auction block nearly two decades ago in the famous Christie's auction of noted hobbyist Ronnie Paloger's personal collection, an elite assembly of artifacts that included Ali's robe, trunk and shoes from the Rumble in the Jungle, and the robe worn as he entered the ring for his first meeting with Sonny Liston in 1964.

    This offering was lot 294 of that sale, a pair of standard "Official Boxing Contract, Articles of Agreement" pages issued by the "Nevada Athletic Commission," detailing the terms and signed respectively by Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks at the close in 9/10 or better ink. Ali was to receive a $3,500,000 payday, not including another $100,000 training allowance, which dwarfed the paltry $200,000 payday and fifteen airline tickets stipulated to Spinks in comparison.

    Each 8.5x14" page bears the stamping of a Nevada state notary and exhibits original storage folds but no other issues of note. One of the most consequential boxing contracts ever made available to the collecting community. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    Guide Value or Estimate: $40,000 - up.

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    27th Saturday 10:00 pm CT
    Auction Dates
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    1 Day 1h 40m 37s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: 16
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    This lot is in: 1 - Signature Internet Extended Bid Session - Extended Bidding - Platinum Session:
    (Lots 80001-80142) - 10:00 PM Central Time, Saturday, February 27, 2021.
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    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions
    2801 W. Airport Freeway
    Dallas, TX 75261

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