Spring Premium Live and Catalog Auction Ending May 20(1-70) and June 3
Search By:
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/20/2017

     Presented here is an original Muhammad Ali piece made by none other than legendary sports artist LeRoy Neiman. Ali, born Cassius Clay, was a memorable boxing figure in the 1960’s known for his brash attitude out of the ring and his lightning quick speed and accuracy within the ring. As a professional boxer, Ali would become the face of the sport amassing an impressive record of 56-5. Many of his memorable fights include his knockout win over Sonny Liston, as well as his trilogy with Joe Frazier.

     Ali would draw media attention for his refusal to partake in the Vietnam War draft. Ali would be stripped of his title, and incarcerated, however would appeal citing religious reasons for his refusal and was eventually released. Losing four years of his boxing career, many considered Ali to be a role model for sticking to his ideals rather than conforming to the government’s wishes. Ali was an active participant in the Civil Rights movement.

     Ali signed this painting on March 9th, 1971. This was the day after the first loss of Ali’s career, the so-called “Fight of the Century” against Joe Frazier. Although this fight went the distance, Frazier was selected as the unanimous victor. The fight against Frazier was the first professional loss of Ali’s career, and the inner tumult of his mind is revealed on this painstakingly adorned canvas.

     Ali inscribed virtually every inch of free space on this gorgeous water color, inscribing deeply heartfelt personal messages throughout. The champ discussed some of his personal struggles that were never revealed through his public persona, including his thoughts on defeat in the ring. Ali wrote about the Frazier fight, “You learn through losing! You got a chance to see how things look from the other side.” Ali took these lessons to heart, defeating Frazier handily in the next two meetings of the heavyweight bruisers.

     More selections of Ali’s inscriptions reveal the mindset of the Greatest, who wrote “I don’t have to be what you want me to be, I’m free to be who I want!” and “Everything has a purpose – Everyone has a purpose.” He also discusses the important choices he made throughout his personal life and professional career, including his then-controversial conversion to Islam. Ali writes “When they asked me ‘which do you want, the Muslims or twenty million dollars, all kinds of women and some big home in Hollywood?’ I said ‘give me the Muslims’ and I haven’t regretted it yet”. This quote typifies the nature of Ali: a fiercely loyal and devoted champion of the people ready to give his life for his passions and belief. Ali also writes about the other belief that nearly ended his boxing career: his conscientious objection to military service in the Vietnam War. Ali scrawled, “The Senators are all afraid of me because I speak the truth that can set men free” and “I got no quarrel with the Viet Cong”. This echoes Ali’s powerful public statements on the Vietnam War, “My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America.”

     This water color portrait by LeRoy Neiman displays Ali and all his glory. Ali is depicted front and center, his arms crossed. He is colored using orange and yellow tones to form his body and face, while his eyes are colored a piercing dark brown, as the bridge of his nose is colored in a soft blue. A silhouette of himself, with his guard up is painted next to himself, using purple to depict shadow, and green and yellow to form his arm. Ali quotes are written all over this piece, and surround the figures. Ali has signed this piece in black ink at the very bottom of the portrait. This piece comes matted and framed, standing 47 ½ x 42 inches. This frame has miniscule chips on the upper left corner and on the upper part of the frame that faces the wall. Neither are fully visible when the frame is adjusted accordingly. This comes with a full LOA from PSA/DNA (AC04403).

Muhammad Ali Signed Original Watercolor Artwork By Famed Sports Artist LeRoy Neiman (PSA/DNA)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $17,400.00
Estimate: $25,000+
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Sunday, June 4, 2017.
Email A Friend
Ask a Question
Have One To Sell

Auction Notepad


You may add/edit a note for this item or view the notepad:  

Submit    Delete     View all notepad items