June 2005 > Sports > Boxing
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Lot 1638: Complete Set of Ring Record Books (1941-86)
Nat Fleischer's Ring Record Book was -- and for historical research purposes, still is -- the ultimate boxing bible. It is estimated that Fleischer, who founded The Ring in 1928 and published it until his death in 1972, wrote more than 40 million words on boxing and we believe it, especially if you count the words in this complete set of 45 Ring Record Books (1941-87), which were issued in pretty much the same format expanding Fleisher's original capsule biographies and ring records of every known fighter. Includes the very rare '41 inaugural issue (with Fleischer's photo on the front), bound and in exceptional condition, and the 1951 edition is signed by Fleischer. From '63 on the dust wrappers are present save for the '83 edition, which has a makeshift green cover with writing aping The Ring's style. '86-87 final edition has a soiled dust wrapper. '49 edition has several page tabs. Fleischer's picture also on cover of the '63 edition, and on the back jacket of all others. Most of the cover strikes a unique ring vibe, either from vintage boxing art dating back to the bare-knuckle days, photos from classic fights, or a montage of fighters' faces ('82). A Muhammad Ali fight shot is on the '64 cover and Joe Louis has a special place, appearing on a Louis-Schmeling fight poster on the cover of the '73 and on the '86-87 farewell edition cover. Collection belonged to a writer for The Ring whose stamp is on the 1st page of each book, reading "From the Collection of Robert J. Thornton." Books were clearly well-consulted, with pages turned frequently. Condition averages VG-EX. A virtual boxing archive and a fight-game collectible, all in one.
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