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#pounditSunday, June 23, 2024

Colts owner buys Muhammad Ali’s ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ title belt

Jim Irsay looking ahead.

Aug 7, 2021; Canton, Ohio, USA; Edgerrin James, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Class (right) poses with his presenter Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay during the induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is now the proud owner of the championship belt won by Muhammad Ali during one of the most famous fights of all time.

Irsay became the steward of Ali’s belt from the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” heavyweight title fight against George Foreman with a $6.18 million bid at auction on Sunday, according to Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas.

The $6.18 million bid was the highest price a sports collectible has ever been sold for at Heritage Auctions.

On Sunday, Irsay tweeted confirmation of the purchase. He said that the belt will be on display at Chicago’s Navy Pier on August 2 and in Indianapolis on September 9.

“BREAKING—-Muhammad Ali’s championship belt from 1974 ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ when he employed his rope-a-dope and defeated George Foreman—-just added to @IrsayCollection,” Irsay wrote. “Just in time for the Aug. 2 show at Chicago’s Navy Pier (and Sept. 9 at Indy). Proud to be the steward!”

According to its Twitter account, the Jim Irsay Collection’s goal is to house Irsay’s “iconic collection of rock music, American history and pop culture artifacts in a museum, for all the world to enjoy.”

Ali defeated Foreman via an eighth-round knockout to regain the heavyweight title during the 1974 fight, which took place in the African nation of Zaire.

Irsay’s collection also includes Ali’s 1965 walkout robe that had Ali’s new name on it for the first time, as well as Ali’s shoes from the 1975 “Thrilla in Manila” fight against Joe Frazier.

H/T USA Today


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