Two weeks after its last auction generated a whopping $13 million, Heritage Auctions is expected to generate another deep seven-figure sale—all focused on the late Muhammad Ali.
Already online, the auction includes 79 Ali-centric lots including the trunks worn in the fabled “Rumble in the Jungle” victory over the seemingly invincible George Foreman in 1974 (est. $150,000+), and the WBC Heavyweight Championship belt he earned that night (est. $600,000+).
The auction items are presented in chronological order, beginning with training gloves from Ali’s Golden Glove amateur days in Louisville, Kentucky, when he was still known as Cassius Clay (est. $10,000+).
“With the recent passing of Muhammad Ali, we have received telephone calls from collectors all over the world seeking important pieces from his life and career,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Heritage Sports Collectibles. “We are proud to answer with this, the most significant Ali auction ever assembled.”
Expected to fetch over $100,000 is a handwritten letter sent to Life Magazine in 1964, just days before Ali’s first victory over Sonny Liston to become Heavyweight Champion. It addresses his conversion to Islam, the catalyst for the adoption of his new name (est. $100,000+). Also on offer are the gloves worn by Sonny Liston as he surrendered his title to the brash young challenger ($100,000+).
The timeline moves forward through fight worn trunks, gloves and robes from such famous contests as Floyd Patterson, Chuck Wepner and Ken Norton, all the way to the mouth guard Ali spit out after his defeat at the gloved hands of Trevor Berbick in 1981 to conclude his professional career.
Weaved into the mix are fight posters, including the only-known example from Ali and Norton’s “Broken Jaw” bout (est. $10,000+), and programs, special LeRoy Neiman artwork (est. $8,000+).
Other notable offerings include:
- Edward J. Neil Memorial Award, Presented to Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), 1965 (est. $100,000+).
- Signed “Rumble in the Jungle” Print by LeRoy Neiman, Inscribed to Angelo Dundee – Ali’s coach, 1974 (est. $20,000+).
- Fight Worn Shoes from Earnie Shavers Bout, 1977 (est. $40,000+).
- Fight Worn Robe from Leon Spinks II Bout, 1978 (est. $50,000+).
- “Athlete of the Century” Ring, 2000 (est. $20,000+).
Bidding closes September 10.