Muhammad Ali’s ‘Thrilla in Manila’ Trunks Expected to Fetch $6m at Auction

The iconic trunks worn by Muhammad Ali during his historic ‘Thrilla in Manila’ victory over Joe Frazier are set to be auctioned off by Sotheby’s and are expected to fetch more than $6 million (£4.8 million).

Originally sold for $150,000 in 2012, the white satin shorts signed by Ali have garnered significant interest, with bidding already reaching $3.8 million. The auction, taking place at Sotheby’s New York branch, will continue until Friday, April 12.

The ‘Thrilla in Manila,’ held in October 1975 in the Philippines capital, remains one of the most legendary bouts in boxing history. Frazier, also known as ‘Smokin’ Joe,’ had previously defeated Ali in their initial encounter four years prior, making him the first to hand Ali a defeat and retain the world heavyweight title.

Ali’s controversial non-title rematch victory in 1974 set the stage for their third and final meeting, which occurred after Ali regained the world crown by defeating George Foreman in the historic ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ in Zaire.

In their epic third encounter, Ali emerged victorious after 14 grueling rounds, with Frazier being retired by his corner team. Their trilogy is widely regarded as one of the greatest in boxing history.

The Everlast trunks, signed by Ali and inscribed by his corner man Drew ‘Bundini’ Brown, who passed away in 1988, originally fetched a mere $1,000 when auctioned after Brown’s death. However, their anticipated value has soared in recent years.

Both Ali and Frazier, iconic figures in the world of sports, have since passed away—Ali in June 2016 at the age of 74, after battling Parkinson’s Disease, and Frazier in 2011 at the age of 67.

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