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Muhammad Ali’s Championship Belt Sold For $358,500 At Auction

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In 1974 Muhammad Ali was an unlikely underdog against George Foreman, the reigning heavyweight champ of the world, as they descended upon Kinshasa, Zaire for what is widely acknowledged as one of the century’s single greatest athletic bouts, notoriously dubbed, “The Rumble In The Jungle.” Ali won by knockout at the end of the eighth round. With the crowd cheering “Ali, Bomaye!,” the people’s champ had arrived, again.

Many relics of that fight and Muhammad Ali’s legacy at large were found in a storage unit owned by Ali’s trainer 30 years ago; a haul that included the fight’s title belt, match-worn trunks, as well as gloves and a note on his conversion to Islam that date back to 1964. Last week, that lot went to auction and sold for a predictably gaudy price, with the belt taking top tag of $358,000, the trunks going for $143,400, the letter for $131,450 and the gloves for $77,675. A match-worn robe from Ali’s 1978 rematch with Leon Spinks also went at auction for $65,725. Though the winner has yet to be named, two things are certain: their hefty bank account and a sizable interest in owning pieces of boxing history.

To learn more about “The Rumble In The Jungle” refer to Leon Gast‘s exceptional 1996 documentary When We Were Kings or Jeff Levy-Hinte‘s 2008 documentary Soul Power, which focused on the musical component to the fight, including performances from James Brown, BB King, Bill Withers, The Spinners, The Crusaders and more.

via: Okayplayer (ZO)

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