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Friday 15 December 2017

Ali v Liston gloves land $1.1m at sale

The gloves worn by Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston during their infamous 1965 rematch and a rare century-old signed photo of Shoeless Joe Jackson fetched over $1.1m (€966,000) total at an auction.

Both pairs of gloves from the May 25, 1965, bout in Lewiston, Maine – won by Ali with a first-round knockout from what some saw as a “phantom punch” – were seized by George Russo, the boxing commissioner for Maine.

The gloves remained in the Russo family until a California collector bought them several years ago before putting them up for auction.

Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, which handled the sale in New York City, said the gloves were bought for $956,000 by a buyer who wished to remain anonymous.

The photo of Jackson, who is mostly remembered for being banned from baseball for his role in the 1919 World Series scandal and later being depicted in the movie Field of Dreams, brought in $179,000. It sold to an anonymous collector.

Jackson was illiterate and rarely signed anything but cheques and legal documents, making his autograph among the rarest in sports.

Footage of the Ali-Liston fight does not make it clear whether Ali’s quick right hand actually connected, and many fans booed. Even the most famous photos of the fight show an enraged Ali standing over Liston as he lay on the canvas. Ali is gesturing and yelling at Liston to get up and fight.

The Lewiston rematch was the first bout in which Ali stepped into the ring as Muhammad Ali after converting to Islam.

hnews@herald.ie

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