2023 February Finest Auction


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/5/2023

A late addition to the February Finest Auction, we present this newly discovered Cassius Clay autographed poem entitled, “The Night in the Coliseum.” At the end, Ali boldly proclaims himself the future Heavyweight Champion of the world and predicts a future victory over then title-holder Sonny Liston. In the long printed limerick dating to late in 1962, The Greatest shows off his quick wits in describing his TKO of Archie Moore in Los Angeles on November 15, 1962. The patented-Ali poem exuding his brash self-confidence and clever rhymes reads:

“It was that night in the Coliseum

That’s when I annihilated him.

I gave him a lot of sand,

The one they call “The old man.”

I had left jabs that fired like pistons

They were twice as rough as Liston’s.

The people cried “Stop the fight,

“Before Clay puts out the light.”

Some got mad, some lost their money,

But I was sweet as honey.

He was trying to ramain [sic] the great Mr. Moore,

For he knew that Clay had predicted “four.”

I swept that old man clean out of the ring,

For a good new broom sweeps up anhy old thing,

Some say the greatest was Surgur Ray,

But they haven’t seen Cassius Clay.”

This Archie Moore bout marked Clay's first professional fight in the heavyweight division. Ali won the fight with a technical knockout in the fourth round. The poem has been typed on an 8" x 10.5” Western Union Press Message telegram and culminates with Ali's handwritten inscription, “By Cassius Clay - Next Champ After Liston - 1962”. The fresh-to-the-market piece has been encapsulated by PSA/DNA with Ali’s strong penmanship earning a 9/10 autograph grade.

The poem was attained directly from the family of famous American author and screenwriter, Budd Schulberg, who had close ties with Ali and wrote his 1972 biography, Loser and Still Champion: Muhammad Ali. Schulberg is best known for winning the 1955 Academy Award for Best Screenlay of On The Waterfront (starring Marlon Brando). He also wrote the acclaimed novels, The Harder They Fall and What Makes Sammy Run? This item is accompanied by a letter of provenance from the Schulberg family. An important relic from the early ‘60s and possibly the only written example of Cassius Clay predicting his eventual heavyweight title.

C. 1962 Cassius Clay Boldly Autographed Archie Moore Knockout Poem with Inscription Predicting His Heavyweight Title Victory Over Sonny Liston - PSA/DNA 9 Auto.
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $35,801
Number Bids:17
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