An unusual number of exceptional and influential people died in 2016. One of them was Muhammad Ali, one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century.
He died from septic shock on June 2nd, aged 74. He will always be remembered as an inspiring cultural icon, an avid activist, and a controversial figure both inside and outside the ring.
Genuine Muhammad Ali memorabilia has been making fans and collectors crazy for years: the gloves Ali wore during the fight with Floyd Patterson are the most expensive piece of Ali memorabilia. They were bought by the Ultimate Fighting Championship CEO Lorenzo Fertitta in 2014. Fertitta acquired them for a hefty sum of 1.1 million dollars.
Ali used these gloves to defend his heavyweight title in 1965. Prior to the fight, Ali criticized Patterson for refusing to call him by his new name, instead of using his given name Cassius Clay, which Ali referred to as his “slave name”. Ali retaliated for this insult and refused to end the fight quickly although Patterson was clearly outmatched from the start. Ali knocked him out in the 12th round and was subsequently criticized for the unnecessary humiliation of Patterson in the ring.
On Thursday, January 12th, at 12:00 GMT, a piece of genuine Muhammad Ali memorabilia will be auctioned by the British auction house The Saleroom. The lot contains Ali’s signed Ringmaster training gloves with supporting photographs of the signing.
The description of the lot states that “the pair of gloves was acquired by Josephine Gilham whilst visiting his property. Josephine was an air stewardess invited for supper. The current owner has had them since they were brought back from the states”.
These gloves were not used in any famous fights, but they are genuine and were extensively used in training.
The auction house estimates that the highest bid will be somewhere between 800 and 1200 pounds, which shouldn’t be a problem for die-hard Ali fans and memorabilia collectors. After all, they are a piece of Ali’s immortal legacy and a reminder of his undeniable greatness.