Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Fight of the Century

A certified official cap badge from the 1971 MSG World Heavy weight Championship between Ali and Frazier, with an Official Inaugural Induction Cover and photo of Carmen Basilio ( an Italian-American professional boxer who was the world champion in both the Welterweight and Middleweight divisions and good friend to Ali) signing and holding it.
In 1971, with both Ali and Frazier having legitimate claims to the title of World Heavyweight Champion. a tremendous amount of hype and anticipation was created for a match pitting the two undefeated fighters against one another to decide who was the true heavyweight champ.
Ali displaying uncommon speed and dexterity for a man of his size dominated most of his opponents and had often predicted the round in which he would knock them out. However, Ali struggled at times during his 15th round TKO of Oscar Bonavena, an unorthodox Argentinian fighter who was prepared by Hall of Fame trainer Gil Clancy
Frazier was known as a tenacious competitor who attacked the body of his opponent ferociously and had an outstanding left hook. Frazier had a serious bout of hypertension in the lead-up to the fight but appeared on top form as the fight between the two undefeated champions began.
The fight held a broad political meaning for many Americans as Ali had become a symbol of the left-wing anti-establishment movement during his government-imposed exile from the ring, while Frazier had been adopted by the conservative, pro-war movement. According to the 2009 documentary Thriller in Manila, the match, which had been dubbed "The Fight", "gripped the nation, but also split it down the middle.
Its said that the evening of the match there were scores of policeman seen to be trying to control outrageously dressed fans and celebrities among a huge crowd.
The fight went the full 15-round championship distance, exceeding its own promotional hype. While Ali dominated the first three rounds, Frazier connected with a horrifying hook to Ali's jaw, throwing his head back before ferociously attacking Ali's body.
The fight continued with both Ali and Frazier dealing each other unlimited blows and ending with the Judges coming to a unanimous decision officially naming Frazier as the The World Heavyweight Champion, dealing Ali his first professional loss.

The lot will be sold in our Antiques and Interiors sale on Wednesday 16th March 2016.

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