Amazing Prices Achieved for Muhammad Ali Pieces

Posted 02-03-15 by David

Just to prove that almost any items has its price, recent US auction results support the opinion that as The Greatest ages, memorabilia associated with his life continues to appreciate in value.

Last week, the gloves that Ali and Sonny Liston wore in their second match, the bout that gave rise to 'the phantom punch' and to one of the most iconic photos in modern history, Neil Leifer's shot of a ferocious Ali standing above a fallen Liston, were sold for an amazing US$956,000 or well over A$1 million.  As the auction house, described:

Presented here is the completion of the tale, a single offering which we consider to be the most significant ever to emerge from the prize ring-both pairs of gloves worn in the most controversial sporting event in history. The very existence of the gloves was unknown to the larger collecting world until a few years ago, when Heritage received a call from a gentleman named Seth Ersoff who reported a rather bold tale of ownership. Initial skepticism quickly gave way to belief as the ironclad strength of the provenance came to light, supplying a certitude so paradoxically lacking in the events of the bout from which they derive.

At the same auction, Liston's gloves from the first Ali fight (in which Ali became World Champion for the first time) also sold well, fetching over A$120,000.  Muhammad Ali's fight-worn robe for his 1978 bout against Leon Spinks was sold for more than A$100,000, while his match-worn boots from his 1975 fight against Chuck Wepner made around A$70,000.  His fight contract for the Spinks fight also sold for around $50,000, an amazing price.

Even more breathtaking, Ali's letter requesting exemption from the Vietnam War draft sold for close to A$500,000.  Clearly, the market for high-quality Ali collectibles and memorabilia is skyrocketing as The Great Man's life continues into its twilight.


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