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1974 Muhammad Ali/George Foreman On-Site Fight Poster-One of Only Three Known Examples
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $4,640.00
Extremely rare on-site poster from the heavyweight title bout between champion George Frazier and Muhammad Ali, famously known as "The Rumble in the Jungle," held on October 30, 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaire. On-site posters for fights, even those which occur in the United States, tend to be rare in general, because of their very limited print runs and very local intended use. When a fight is in a distant foreign country such as Zaire, as is the case with "The Rumble In The Jungle," the survival of on-site posters is extremely rare. The offered poster is one of only three known surviving on-site examples of this extraordinarily significant boxing poster. This example was saved and brought to the United States by the wife of a B. F. Goodrich executive who was head of the company's plant in Africa. In addition to its rarity, the poster is also distinguished by its size. Measuring an impressive 37 x 45 inches (making its survival all the more unlikely), the poster features striking photos of each fighter set against the shape of Africa. An interesting aspect of this poster is the date change displayed along the top. This fight was originally scheduled for September of that year; however, an injury to Foreman resulted in a one-month postponement. That change is reflected in the fact the original date has been covered by a piece of yellow tape (matching the color of the background), with the new date "30 Octobre" painted in black upon it. Obviously, that was a much more economical alternative to the promoters than issuing new posters. Because Kinshasa was a Belgian colony until 1960, the poster is printed in French, with the headline reading "Championnat Du Monde Des Poids Lourds" (World Heavyweight Championship). Printed along the base of the poster is "Un Cadeau Du President Mobutu Au Peuple Zairois Et Un Honneur Pour L'Homme Noir" (Translation: "A Present of the President Mobutu to the People of Zaire and an Honour for the Black Man). The name of the lithographer ("Passantino Printing Co. Inc. New York") appears in the lower right. The famed "Rumble in the Jungle" was one of the defining moments of Ali's illustrious career. Matched against Foreman, who was coming off a dominating victory over Joe Frazier (one of Foreman's blows actually lifted Frazier off the canvas), Ali was given little chance by many pundents of regaining the heavyweight title. Undaunted by critics and buoyed by the support of the local fans, who constantly chanted "Ali Bomaye!" ("Ali kill him"), Ali shocked the world by registering an eighth-round knockdown of Foreman. His victory came in large part from his use of the famous "Rope-a-Dope," a strategy of letting Foreman tire himself out by pounding on him while he remained covered up on the ropes. The poster, printed on thin paper stock, remains mounted to its original thick cardboard backing as issued, which in turn has been mounted onto a wood frame. The piece displays a number of edge tears, the largest of which are visible in the upper left corner, as well as light staining and a few abrasions throughout. In Very Good condition overall. Despite a few condition flaws resulting from its intended use, the poster still displays beautifully. On the internet we have provided a photograph from 1974 showing how these posters were displayed on-site in Africa. This is a museum-quality piece and one of the few surviving on-site mementos from one of the most famous heavyweight title bouts in history. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3000. SOLD FOR $4,640.00
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