Lot 1585: 1981 Muhammad Ali Fight Worn Robe and Trunks Used To Train For Trevor Berbick Fight
Auction Date:6/26/2005 9:00 PM EST
UPDATE: This robe was worn by Ali during training for the Berbick Fight and not in the ring for the fight
On December 11, 1981 in the Bahamas, Muhammad Ali stepped into the ring for the last time to fight journeyman Trevor Berbick wearing this splendiferous black robe and trunks. Perhaps it's best we remember Ali by these royal raiments, and by the words that stretch across the robe's back -- "Muhammad Ali, 3 Time World Heavyweight Champion" -- rather than that bout itself, although the event too adds to their value, codifying the sad denouement of Ali's cosmic career. A fiasco from the get-go, on that night promoters lost the keys to the gate so the fight began two hours late, which hardly mattered since no network would broadcast it (though on a happy note, Don King, who tried to force his way in as promoter, was beaten up before the fight by Ali's bodyguards). The bell was a cow bell. The doughy, 39-year-old Ali was a shell of himself and hardly threw a shot in losing a unanimous 10-round decision. The robe and trunk, however, transcend the particulars and serve as a symbol of Ali's peerless career and pivotal place within modern sports, culture and politics. Both robe and trunks have an unflawed black exterior of smooth, thick crushed velvet with light gold trimming. Hooded robe has a tericloth interior that is streaked darker yellow in spots by perspiration, as is some of the gold trimming on both items. Robe has an Everlast label over the left chest pocket, trunks on the waistband. No other tagging. In the end, the majesty of The Greatest is really the only label that counts.
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