Ali, Liston gloves, Shoeless Joe photo fetch $1.1M in NYC
Updated: 2015-02-22 12:14
In this May 25, 1965 file photo, challenger Sonny Liston, right, lands a body blow to heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in Lewiston, Maine. [Photo/IC]
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 purchased 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 purchased 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 paychecks 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. He was still Cassius Clay a year earlier when he won the championship from Liston in Miami. His glove from that bout sold last year at Heritage Auctions for $836,500.
Ali signed both pairs of gloves when he came to Lewiston in 1995 to celebrate the fight's 30th anniversary. Liston died in 1970.