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Lot # 1395 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1971 Original Ali/Frazier LIFE Magazine Fight Photo Taken by Frank Sinatra

Starting Bid - $400.00, Sold For - $822.50

Original LIFE magazine color photograph (11 x 14 inches) taken by legendary singer Frank Sinatra at the first 1971 heavyweight championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier held on March 8th at Madison Square Garden in New York. The 1971 heavyweight championship fight between champion Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali (the first of their three momentous fights) was one of the most highly anticipated bouts ever. Dubbed "the fight of the century," over 700 working press credentials were issued for the fight, while another 500 such requests were turned down. Hundreds of celebrities were in attendance that night, including Frank Sinatra, but few enjoyed the seating advantage of Sinatra. "Ole Blue Eyes" guaranteed his special ringside seat for the fight by agreeing to photograph the bout for LIFE magazine. Sinatra, a serious amateur photographer, took a number of photos of that classic bout, including one that was used as the cover image for the March 19, 1971, issue of LIFE . All of the photos taken by Sinatra that night, including the offered original image (picturing Ali backed into a corner by Frazier) were publicly displayed by LIFE after the bout. The offered original 1971 Sinatra photograph of the Ali-Frazier fight has been professionally matted and is stamped "Photo by Frank Sinatra" in the lower right. The photograph is also numbered ("6") in the lower left corner. This photo was originally given as a gift by Sinatra to longtime friend Jilly Rizzo, a New York restaurateur and entertainer. Rizzo, in turn, later gave the photo to A. J. Fusco Jr., the last owner of Jilly's Restaurant in New York. It is accompanied by a notarized letter from Fusco that details its provenance and makes note that all reproduction rights have been legally retained by Fusco. The photo is in Near Mint condition and has been matted and framed to total dimensions of 18.5 x 22.5 inches. Also accompanying the photo are color copies of both the cover of the March 19, 1971, issue of LIFE and a photo of Sinatra taking a picture at the fight. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $822.50

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