Muhammad Ali memorabilia

There is nothing like the death of a legend to ignite interest and stir up a frenzy for all things associated with them.  This was very much the case at our valuation day yesterday with not one but three Muhammad Ali lots being brought in for valuation before 11:00am!

Of particular interest is a boxing programme dated 21st May 1996 – for the World Heavyweight Championship fight between Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) and Henry Cooper, perhaps the greatest British boxer of his time, well known for his left hook – nicknamed 'Enry's 'Ammer'. To accompany the programme we also have a ticket stub from the fight. Being the second fight between the two, they were aware of each others strengths and weaknesses; Ali knew to avoid Cooper's left hook and Cooper knew to be aware of Ali's agility in the ring. Perhaps controversially at the time, Cooper suffered a 'technical knockout' even though ahead on the scorecards, when Ali opened a serious cut around his eye.

Obviously, these programmes and tickets are genuine as not only do they show the signs of age expected, but the vendor actually attended the fights when they took place. In contrast to such provenance it is very difficult to authenticate a genuine autograph of Ali, as Muhammad Ali and Cassius Clay autographs are amongst the most commonly replicated and counterfeited in the sporting world. No doubt following on from his death, there will be a flood of Muhammad Ali ephemera into the market and it falls to the experts to decide and prove if it is 'genuine'. A tale of him being in a town or city on a given date with his name scrawled on a scrap of paper does not authenticate an autograph.

The programme and ticket stub will be offered as part of a lot to include several other 1960's boxing programmes and tickets, including Henry Cooper v Jack Bodell 24th March 1970. They will be offered for sale on 29th June at The Lichfield Auction Centre, when we will also be welcoming David Dickinson and the Real Deal team.

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