SCP Auctions announced late Thursday that it will auction the trunks worn by Muhammad Ali in the 1971 “Fight of the Century” against Joe Frazier.
The same trunks sold at auction in 2002 for $100,000.
Ali-Frazier I was perhaps the most famous boxing event in the modern history of the sport. It launched a memorable trilogy of battles between the two superstars of the heavyweight division and turned Ali into a huge fan favorite despite losing by decision.
Ali would later say of Frazier, “Of all the men I fought in boxing, Sonny Liston was the scariest; George Foreman was the most powerful; Floyd Patterson was the most skilled as a boxer. But the roughest and toughest was Joe Frazier.”
Deep maroon/red crushed velvet, trimmed in pure white satin, these trunks were originally purchased from the estate of Drew Bundini Brown. Brown was a long-time assistant of Ali’s and was present for this historic fight. The trunks are photomatched and have been signed by Ali – three times on one of the side trim stripes. One of the signatures was inscribed by Ali, “First Frazier Fight, Muhammad Ali”. The trunks will be offered as part of SCP’s upcoming Premier Auction, slated to open later this fall.
Frazier took control with a 14th round knockdown of Ali, handing the brash and outspoken lightning rod his first pro defeat.
Those who were in attendance at Madison Square Garden that night and the millions who witnessed the battle on closed-circuit saw Ali enter the ring wearing blood-red velvet trunks, an unusual color for the former Olympic champ.
SCP says the trunks have been examined by noted boxing collector Craig Hamilton and compared to detailed photographs of the fight. The auction company calls them “the most important item of boxing memorabilia ever to be offered at auction.”