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Lot # 1398 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1964 Cassius Clay Signed & Inscribed "Liston In 8 Rounds" Photograph

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $5,287.50

Presented is an extraordinary example of one of the classic publicity photos that Cassius Clay occasionally signed and presented as gifts to fans and friends in the early 1960s. This is a particularly interesting signed item as it dates from the early 1960s, when Muhammad Ali was still known as Cassius Clay, and he has signed with his rare, early "Cassius Clay" signature. Penned just prior to his first heavyweight championship fight against Sonny Liston in 1964, this publicity photo is all the more desirable due to its provenance (it was presented by Clay to Alonzo Johnson) and prophetic inscription. Clay has personalized the photo, "To Alonzo from Cassius Clay - Good Luck - Liston in 8 rounds." Both the inscription and signature have been penned in black ink and grade "8" overall. Clay's brashness at the time is fully evident by the caption below his image which reads "Cassius Clay - I Am The Greatest." Signed examples of these early promotional presentation photos are among the most desirable of all Ali autographed items from the era, and are all the more significant because they date from before he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. This photo was given by Ali to Alonzo Johnson, a seasoned veteran who served as one of Clay's sparring partners for the Liston fight. Clay had earlier fought and defeated Johnson in his seventh professional fight in 1961. It is interesting to note that Clay was only off by one round in his prediction. Clay did, indeed, shock the world on February 25, 1964 by knocking out Liston in the seventh round. After the fight Clay converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. The photo (3.25 x 8 inches) displays light creasing in the upper left corner and is in Very Good to Excellent condition. Mounted and framed to total dimensions of 14 x 18 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $5,287.50

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