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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/14/2016

     

      Offered here is the pair of Everlast boxing gloves worn by Muhammad Ali as he battled Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier at New York's Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971.

      Muhammad Ali. Just the sound of his name evokes powerful sentiments in virtually everyone who grew up in America during the second half of the twentieth century. Ali was undeniably a beloved, global figure, though, and the international community is currently united in mourning his recent passing. "The Fight of the Century" – the event in which these gloves were employed as the world looked on – was a singular, defining moment in the timeline of this truly unique, incredible individual.

      At the time of The Fight, the two renowned combatants both had legitimate claims to the Heavyweight title that was nominally owned by Frazier. Frazier was "Undisputed Champion," by virtue of having defeated the most prominent active contenders. Ali, though, had never actually lost his title, which he had earned by famously beating Sonny Liston in 1964: the title had been taken from him as part of the punishment for his refusal to be drafted into the military in 1967.

      In many ways, too, there was much more at stake beyond rank in boxing's hierarchy. Ali and Frazier had come to represent different poles in society, in politics and in perceived morality. Where Ali was outspoken and irreverent, his opponent was conservative and almost deferential. Frazier was a patriot, his rival an iconoclast. Nationally, boxing enthusiasts and non-fans, alike, chose an allegiance and fervently supported their man.

      The public's strong feelings about Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier reached a crescendo at Madison Square Garden with the arrival of fight night. Celebrities competed for seats at the event as excitement filled the air and police remained on alert to control the boisterous crowd.

      For the first three rounds, Ali delivered a performance that recalled his vintage greatness, but a formidable Frazier punch at the end of the third frame seemed to turn the tide. The next several rounds saw the boxers battling on what appeared to be even terms: Ali had lost some of his quickness and mobility, allowing Frazier to land damaging blows. The worst of these occurred early in Round 11, as a left hook caused Ali to drop briefly to the canvas. From there, although he continued to fight using all of his reserves of strength, Muhammad Ali was dominated by Joe Frazier. The unanimous decision of the three judges, issued at the end of the full, 15-round bout, declared Frazier the winner.

      Joe Frazier had successfully defended his title. Still, historians, boxing experts, enthusiastic observers and even those few who had just casual interest nevertheless felt that Muhammad Ali was the real story. Ali was the athlete whose journey everyone was watching. Ali was the man who'd captured universal fascination. Muhammad Ali was following his own, almost mystical path into legend.

      Both of these gloves exhibit visible and palpable, solid wear brought about during the epic confrontation in which they were used. Their perspiration-stained, interior linings carry bold notations reading, "MA 1, AD, Ali-(Joe) Frazier 3-8-71 MSG." Approval stampings placed by the New York State Athletic Commission are accompanied by additional notations (date and initials) penned by that agency's inspector. The black marker signature of Ali's long-time cornerman Angelo Dundee also appears inside each glove.

      The world lost Muhammad Ali on June 3, 2016. He will be remembered as a successful Olympian, who subsequently acted as the focus of professional pugilism for two decades. (And, not incidentally, he defeated Joe Frazier in two rematches.) He was a courageous activist who possessed the uncommon ability to transcend boundaries in order to be heard and believed. Ali was an innately kind, spiritual man who successfully juxtaposed a gentle persona with that of a fierce, indomitable warrior. Above all, he was one-of-a-kind, and the gloves offered here are elemental to his legacy.

      Originally, the gloves were to have been acquired by The Fight's promoter, Jerry Perenchio. Instead, however, they remained in the possession of Angelo Dundee (1921-2012), and they are accompanied by his authenticating letter. It reads,

"To whom it may concern: The Ali-Frazier gloves have been in my family's possession from the time I cut them off Ali's hands. My wife and son brought them home from New York the day after the fight. I labeled the gloves inside the laces. [signed] Angelo Dundee."

To own such an important piece of boxing and American history places the collector and his/her collection in another stratosphere. Here are the most recent examples of the rare air Ali/Clay fight used gloves have sold in the open market, all prior to his recent untimely passing which has elevated his fight used memorabilia to an even higher level. $1,100,000.00 for Ali’s worn gloves from his 1965 Fight vs. Floyd Patterson, $956,000.00 from his 2nd fight with Sonny Liston in 1965. Many Ali memorabilia experts believe these gloves from the most important fight in Boxing history are the most valuable of all Ali and Boxing memorabilia.

      Finally, it must be noted that the gloves are currently on exhibit in London, England, at a showcase of important Ali memorabilia being staged under the auspices of his family. This event – "I Am The Greatest: Muhammad Ali" at the O2 – is scheduled to remain open until August 31, 2016 to afford the most meaningful opportunity for his artifacts to be seen. Accordingly, the winning bidder for this lot will be able to take physical possession of the gloves in early September, 2016. In a very real sense, the future owner of these gloves will personally join the relatives of Muhammad Ali in sharing the cherished memories of Ali's past on the global stage.

      These gloves have a letter of provenance/authenticity from Angelo Dundee, a full LOA from PSA/DNA (Dundee letter), a full LOA from JSA (Dundee letter) and a LOA from Craig Hamilton/JO Sports (addressing Perenchio).

   Please note that this item does not appear in our printed catalog due to its late addition. A supplemental mailing has been done and is available on request if not received.

Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $250,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $594,000.00
Estimate: $1,000,000+
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Sunday, August 14, 2016.
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