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1967 Rocky Marciano Signed Letter Regarding Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $2,610.00
Offered here is what may be the single finest Rocky Marciano signed letter in existence with regard to content. This extraordinary missive, typed on Rocky Marciano Enterprises, Inc. stationery, is dated May 16, 1967 and is written to William Reinmuth of Sports Quest. In it, Marciano "pulls no punches" with regard to his views concerning Muhammad Ali's refusal to be inducted into the U.S. Military. Marciano writes in full: "Dear Bill, You are right about the growing public disgust for Clay regarding his decision not to fight in the 'white man's army.' Yes, I did take offense at that and some of his other statements. I can tell you that Barbara and I have been getting swamped with calls from the press all over the world wanting to know what we thought about Clay's situation. I tell them what I've told you and everyone else up to now and that is I don't support Clay's decision to refuse induction. I understand that he is out Five thousand dollars bail and cannot get a passport to leave the country. I have heard that he will have plenty of grief if he tries to get licensed to fight in the states as well. I spoke with Joe Louis again the other day and he told me that he reminded Clay that he wound up as better and prouder American as a result of his hitch in the Army. He said that Clay just went on about not being treated equal in his own country and that he wouldn't take part in killing on foreign soil and that he would fight on this soil so that his people would be recognized as equals here. Sounds to me like he has been talking with his lawyers a hell of a lot, doesn't it? Will be in touch. Take care and 'Keep Punching!'" The letter is signed "Rocky Marciano" in blue ink ("9"). One of the most interesting aspects of this letter is the fact that Marciano refuses to acknowledge Ali's name change and still refers to him by his birth name, "Clay." As clearly indicated in this letter, Ali's stance to refuse induction into the military, on religious grounds, was quite unpopular with much of the American public at the time. The fact that two of the most popular heavyweight champions in history, Marciano and Joe Louis, were unanimous in their negative opinion of his actions only helped to fuel the backlash against him. While Marciano signed letters are not rare by collecting standards, those containing significant boxing content, such as this remarkable example, are. The letter (8.5 x 11 inches) has normal light mailing fold lines and is in Excellent condition. This is a letter of extraordinary significance penned by Marciano just two years prior to his untimely death in an airplane crash. LOAs from James Spence/JSA and Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez & Zach Rullo/PSA DNA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $2,610.00
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