1974 Muhammad Ali/George Foreman Onsite Fight Poster

Sold For: $600

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 2075

Item Year: 1974

Category: Football/Basketball/Hockey/Boxing/Other Sports

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Rare onsite poster 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. This is one of two different posters produced for the fight. Onsite posters for fights, even those which occur in the United States, tend to be scarce 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. This is probably one of fewer than ten surviving onsite examples of this significant boxing poster, and its survival is directly related to its provenance. According to our consignor, the offered poster was brought back to the United States by a flight attendant who was there at the time.

Measuring 22.5 x 37.5 inches (this is the small version of this particular poster, which is even rarer than the more frequently seen large version measuring 46 x 75 inches), 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).

The poster, which has been dry mounted to a cardboard backing, had been clipped at all four corners. As a result, four red triangular mounts have been affixed to each corner to cover the defect. Aside from that, and some minor rippling as a result of the mount process, the poster is in overall Excellent condition, with just a few minor abrasions near the base. Framed to total dimensions of 24.5 x 39 inches. The substantial size/weight of this item requires that there will be a shipping charge for this lot (which will vary depending upon where it is being shipped). The shipping charge will be billed separately from the auction invoice. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,500++.

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