Johnny Basham's boxing belt to auction for $55,000?

The Lonsdale boxing belt awarded to aptly-named Welsh middleweight boxer Johnny Basham is to auction at Bonhams on June 19.

Valued at £30,000-35,000 ($47,163-55,020), Basham won the elaborately decorated belt three times, in 1914, 1915 and 1916.

Basham's boxing belt
Basham's Lonsdale belt. Comparable belts have previously brought five-figure sums

Despite his considerable successes, Basham's career was marred by the death of his opponent Harry Price during a particularly fierce bout.

Despite public sympathy, Basham faced manslaughter charges following Price's death. However, Basham was acquitted after the magistrate overseeing his trial decreed that the fight had been a sporting one.

Subsequent to his trail, Basham eked out a meagre existence, often donning his Lonsdale belt in public in the hope that someone might buy him a drink.

In 1987 - 40 years after his death - money was raised in his hometown of Newport, Wales, and a handsome headstone erected in place of the simple wooden cross which had previously marked his grave.

The Lonsdale belt features a central oval enamel portrait depicting a pair of sparring boxers, a white and red silk ribbon, and is engraved with the details of fight winners. It is offered alongside its original blue-velvet locking case.

In February 2013, British heavyweight boxer Henry Cooper's championship belts sold for £12,500 ($19,113) apiece, while Cooper's Lonsdale belt made an impressive £49,250 ($77,387) in May 2012.

We currently have this remarkable signed photograph of "The Boilermaker" in stock. It could be yours today for just £1,950.

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