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1970 Sonny Liston vs. Chuck Wepner Fight Poster
Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $829.50
Rare boxing poster for the heavyweight fight between former World Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston and New Jersey Heavyweight Champion Chuck Wepner at the Jersey City Armory in Jersey City, New Jersey, on June 29, 1970. The poster features images of each fighter and makes special note that there will be "NO TV" for this "Heavyweight Championship Slugfest." Wepner, known as the "Bayonne Bleeder" lived up to his famous sobriquet that night, as Liston mercilessly pummeled him for nine rounds before the doctor in attendance finally stopped the fight. Wepner was bleeding profusely at the time and it was reported that he received over 120 stitches to the face following the bout. While unbeknownst to everyone in attendance that night, the fight marked the final bout of Liston's storied career. Just six months later, on January 5, 1971, Liston was found dead in his Las Vegas apartment. The official cause of death was lung congestion and heart failure, even though traces of heroin were found in his system. Both Liston and Wepner achieved ring immortality due to their historic fights against Muhammad Ali. Liston lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Ali in 1964 in one of the great upsets in boxing history (Liston also lost the rematch in controversial fashion). Wepner too gained his fame in a loss to Ali. On March 24, 1975, Wepner surprised most pundits by lasting fifteen rounds with Ali in their championship bout. According to Wepner, his courageous effort was the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film Rocky, which was released in 1976. This is the first example of this fight poster that we have ever seen and we can only surmise that very few survived. The poster (26 x 17 inches), printed on cardboard stock, displays moderate -to-heavy wear commensurate with its age and former use, including tack holes in each corner, light water staining, minor surface abrasions, and a few slight creases. In Good to Very Good condition. Mounted and framed to total dimensions of 31 x 22 inches. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$600. SOLD FOR $829.50
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