1971 Muhammad Ali gloves up 56% on last sale

The gloves Muhammad Ali wore in his Fight of the Century bout against Joe Frazier in 1971 have sold at Goldin Auctions.

They realised $606,375 in the August 13 sale, an increase of 56.1% on the $388,375 paid for them in 2014 - an indication of the effect Ali's death earlier this year has had on the value of his memorabilia.

Ali Frazier gloves
The 1971 fight ended in Muhammad Ali's first professional defeat

The build up to the fight was tense.

Both Ali and Frazier were undefeated heavyweight champions.

Ali had been banned from the ring for the last four years for his refusal to fight in Vietnam.

He was presented in the press as a hero of the anti-war, civil rights brigade while Frazier was painted as the "white man's champion" and an "Uncle Tom" - both phrases Ali used in a press conference.

This deeply rankled Frazier, who had grown up the son of a sharecropper in the Jim Crow south.

They had also been close friends before the fight.

Frazier had lent Ali money during his suspension and even testified before Congress on his behalf.

The fight was vicious and culminated in Ali's first ever professional defeat.

Ali's former trainer Angelo Dundee states in a letter of provenance: "The Ali-Frazier gloves have been in my family's possession from the time I cut them off Ali's hands.

"My wife and son brought them home from New York the day after the fight. I labelled the gloves inside the laces."

The belt Ali won when reclaiming the heavyweight title in 1974 is selling at Heritage in September.

Goldin also sold a gem mint 1970 Wayne Gretzky rookie card for a record $474,687 earlier this month.  

We have a fascinating selection of sports memorabilia for sale.

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