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Lot # 1543 (of 1743)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1974 Ali/Foreman "Rumble in the Jungle" Original Onsite Fight Poster and Two Ticket Stubs (3)

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $5,581

Addendum: Please note that the size listed for this piece in the catalog is in error. This is an enormous poster, measuring 46 x 72 inches!

Extremely rare onsite poster and ticket stubs from the heavyweight title bout between champion George Foreman and Muhammad Ali, famously known as "The Rumble in the Jungle," held on October 30, 1974, in Kinshasa, Zaire. Onsite 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 was the case with "The Rumble In The Jungle," the survival of onsite posters is extremely rare. The offered poster is one of only a few known surviving onsite examples of this extraordinarily significant boxing poster. This example was saved and brought to the United States by our consignor, the daughter of an oil company executive who was in Zaire on business at the time and attended the fight. In addition to its rarity, the poster is also distinguished by its size. Measuring an impressive 46 x 72 inches (making its survival all the more unlikely), the poster features striking head shots of Ali, Foreman, and Mobutu Sese Seko (President of Zaire) set against the shape of Zaire. An interesting aspect of this poster is the date change displayed along the center of the piece. 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 that the original date has been covered by a piece of green tape (matching the color of the background), with the new date "30 Octobre 1974" painted in black upon it. Obviously, that was a much more economical alternative for the promoters than issuing new posters. Because Kinshasa was a Belgian colony until 1960, the poster is printed in French, with the headline reading "Zaire 74/Ali et Foreman Font Confiance A Mobutu" (Translation: Ali and Foreman trust Mobutu). Printed along the base of the poster is "Vous Aussi Faites Comme Eux, Ayez/Confiance En Mobutu" (Translation: so do like them, have confidence in Mobutu). Accompanying the poster are two extremely rare ticket stubs from the fight. The larger of the two (4.5 x 3 inches), which features an illustration of the two fighters, cost $10 and was for Section "V" seat "549." The second ticket stub (3 x 1.5 inches) cost $100 and was for Section "B" Row "7" Seat "424." Almost all known tickets to this fight are "proof tickets" saved by the printer that do not have seat numbers and did not see actual use as tickets. These tickets were actually used onsite for entry to this historic fight and are the first such examples we have ever offered. 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 pundits 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, is technically in Good condition, with numerous minor-to-moderate tears along the white border areas, a few small tears along the fold lines, and tack/nail holes in each of the four corners. Despite the periphery flaws, the main body of the poster is in excellent condition and displays extremely well. This poster is a prime candidate for professional restoration and linen backing, which, if well done, would result in the poster having an Ex-Mt or better appearance. The two ticket stubs each display numerous creases and are in overall Good condition. On the internet we have provided a photograph from 1974 showing how these posters were displayed onsite in Africa. This is a museum-quality piece and one of the few surviving onsite mementos from one of the most famous heavyweight title bouts in history. Total 3 items (one poster plus two tickets). Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $5,581


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