2023 February Finest Auction


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

“The Greatest” visited numerous international destinations for some of his most famous fights, dominating his competition in far-off lands such as Zaire and The Philippines. Presented here is the actual passport Muhammad Ali used from 1965-66, and almost certainly the first one issued to him following his conversion to Islam and transition to a new Muslim name in 1964. On the inside cover, Ali has signed "Muhammad Ali" in 9/10 blue ballpoint pen with his Miami address when he trained at the Dundee family's 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach. He then provides his mother, "Odessa Clay", as his emergency contact with her address back in his hometown of Louisville, KY.

On the next page is a stunning two-page spread with the upper landsape page listing the owner as "Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. K-A Muhammad Ali" in black print along with his birth date, physical traits and the date of passport issuance (July 15, 1965). Ali has again signed at the lower left in 9/10 blue ballpoint. The lanscape page below has a cut-out b&w portrait photo (2.5" x 2.5") of the then 23-year-old phenom with Ali's third signature -- this time in 9/10 black ink -- along with the first examples of the immigration stamping that continue on subsequent pages. The date and location stamps allows the document to be matched to the following bouts:

1) July 28, 1965 exhibition bout in Belize City, British Honduras against Cody Jones.

2) July 31, 1965 exhibition bouts in San Juan, Puerto Rico against Jimmy Ellis and Cody Jones.

3) August 16, 1965 exhibition bouts in Gothenburg, Sweden against Jimmy Ellis and Cody Jones.

4) August 20, 1965 exhibition bouts in London and Scotland against Jimmy Ellis and Cody Jones.

5) March 29, 1966 championship bout in London, England against Henry Cooper.

6) August 6, 1966 championship bout in London, England against Brian London.

There is also a May 24, 1966 stamp from Cairo, Egypt, which appears to be from Ali's second trip to Africa, a continent he deeply embraced as his dedication to civil rights grew, and which reciprocated his love (as his popular support during "The Rumble in the Jungle" demonstrated). This journey occurred between the Cooper and London fights.

The passport displays moderate wear from repeated handling, but there are few blemishes out of the ordinary for such a repeatedly used legal document. The fact that it has survived history is a small miracle. Remember, as part of the appeal process for refusing Vietnam War conscription, Ali was forced to forfeit this very passport to federal authorities in 1967, who then returned it to him upon the Supreme Court's dismissal of his charges four years later. An incredibly important piece of American and world history, this belongs either in a museum or within the most esteemed collection. Includes full LOAs from PSA/DNA and Beckett for the autographs.

Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $20,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $91,151
Number Bids:11
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