Muhammad Ali boxing trunks from 'Fight of the Century' hit $173,102 sale record

The trunks Muhammad Ali wore in The Fight of the Century against Joe Frazier in 1971 have set a new world record for a piece of boxing memorabilia.

Ali's red shorts sold for $173,102 at an SCP Auctions sale in the US.

Ali wore the shorts in his defeat by unanimous decision to Frazier, the first loss of his professional career.

The bout marked Ali's first attempt to regain the world title he had been stripped of in 1967, when he refused to fight in the Vietnam War.

Ali would go on to exact his revenge on Frazier twice during the ensuing years, including the Thrilla in Manila in 1975.

Ali was among the mourners at Frazier's funeral, earlier this month.

David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions said: "We were honoured to handle one of the marque and historic Muhammad Ali pieces of memorabilia from a very historic fight. Ali after losing this fight to Joe Frazier never wore red fight trunks again and returned to the white cole trunks." 

Ali had to wait three years before he could call himself world champion again, when he beat George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle.

Ali's robe from that bout held the previous world record for a piece of boxing memorabilia; it sold for $156,000 at Christie's in 1997.

Muhammad Ali red trunks
Ali would never wear red trunks again

The clamour for the most important pieces of boxing memorabilia, particularly those associated with Ali, has grown of late.

A pair of early training gloves, signed "Cassius Clay", sold for $22,000 in 2010, $18,000 above estimate.

We currently have a photograph of Ali with the Beatles from 1964, signed by the boxer, available for £1,950.

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