News

Muhammad Ali’s ‘Fight of the Century’ gloves sell for $400K

Muhammad Ali’s ‘Fight of the Century’ gloves sell for $400K

FIGHT OF THE CENTURY:Muhammad Ali, red trunks, and Joe Frazier, green trunks, are shown during round 7 of their bout in New York's Madison Square Garden, March 8, 1971. Photo: Associated Press/Eddie Adams

By Marice Richter

DALLAS (Reuters) – The gloves that boxing great Muhammad Ali wore in his legendary 1971 fight against Joe Frazier in what became known as the Fight of the Century sold at auction on Thursday for almost $400,000.

An anonymous bidder bought the gloves for $388,375 at the auction run by Texas-based Heritage Auctions at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland. Heritage previously auctioned a set of gloves Ali wore to claim his first World Championship in 1964 for $836,500.

The Fight of the Century, in New York’s Madison Square Garden, was the first of three fights between Ali and Frazier during the 1970s.

In 1971, Frazier officially held the title of Heavyweight Champion of the World. Ali had been stripped of the title he had held since the 1964 bout against Sonny Liston because of his refusal to participate in the Vietnam War-era draft.

The March 8 fight against Frazier was Ali’s second after returning to the ring following a 3-1/2 year absence. Ali’s conviction had just been overturned earlier in 1971 by the U.S. Supreme Court and his boxing license was reinstated.

“It was a controversial fight at a controversial time in America and the bout took on distinctly political and cultural overtones,” Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions for Heritage, said in a statement.

Frazier and Ali were each guaranteed $2.5 million, a record purse for the time.

“The fight sold out a month before the event with ringside seats commanding a record $150, with even Frank Sinatra unable to get his hands on one,” Ivy said. Sinatra received a press credential and shot ringside photos for Life Magazine.

Ali lost to Frazier but prevailed in a re-match at Madison Square Garden in 1974 and a third match-up known as “The Thrilla in Manilla” in 1975.

(Ediing by Edith Honan and Sandra Maler)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Injured Cub Scouts Still Recovering from Raymond Explosion

Fresh
ambulance

Burns to faces, hands and arms

in Local

Eastbound Monroe St. Reduced by Capitol

road construction

Public Works says multiple service valves have broken and they need to be repaired.

in Local

Portions of Chatham Under Boil Order

water

Residents and businesses in the area on West Walnut St. from Route 4 to College might experience low water pressure or no water pressure at all.

in Election 2014, Local

Barr, Regan Agree to Sheriff’s Race Debate on WTAX Oct. 31

Updated
sangamon county sheriff

The two candidates have sparred back and forth in recent weeks through press releases and, in some cases, have cancelled other debates due to perceived hostilities.

in Local

State Rep. Raymond Poe Undergoing Stem Cell Transplant

poe

State Representative Rich Brauer, others, say they'll step in while Poe is out.