New York, – On April 24, Sotheby’s and SCP Auctions will offer a fine selection of sports memorabilia and cards for auction. The April sale includes an outstanding offering of material that comes directly from Smokin’ Joe Frazier. Born in 1944, the 11th child of sharecroppers in South Carolina, Frazier took up boxing at the age of 17, and his raw talent was soon discovered and honed by trainer Yank Durham. Frazier won the Middle Atlantic Golden Gloves heavyweight championship for three straight years. His professional debut came on Aug. 16, 1965, and within 12 months he was 11-0, with every victory coming by knockout. In 1971, Joe Frazier was king of the world. At 27 years old and at 26-0, he was the undisputed and undefeated heavyweight champion. However, one obstacle stood in his way to standing with other all-time immortals in the ring – Muhammad Ali. On March 8, 1971, in the “Fight of the Century” at Madison Square Garden, an unbeaten Frazier won a unanimous decision as he handed Ali his first defeat.
Included is Frazier’s Robe from the Weigh-In of ” The Fight of The Century” (est. $10/15,000). Frazier held on to his title for three years before a younger and stronger George Foreman took it away in Jamaica.
In 1999, ESPN ranked Frazier and Ali’s third bout, nicknamed the “Thrilla in Manila,” as No. 5 on its list of the greatest fights of all time. In 1974, Ali won the second fight in a 12-round unanimous decision that didn’t win the belt for either. In 1975, the two aging heavyweights, then in their early 30s, traveled to fight in Quezon City, Phillippines. Joe Frazier’s Fight-Worn Robe from the “Thrilla In Manila” (est. $30/50,000) is also among the highlights of the April sale. Also included is a Fight-Worn Robe from Frazier vs. Jerry Quarry – June 17, 1974 (est. $15/20,000) and a Cornerman’s Shirt Made for Eddie Futch, Joe Frazier’s Trainer (est. $8/12,000).
Registration is required to bid in Sotheby’s auctions. You can register in person at Sotheby’s New York headquarters any time before the sale, or via fax when you submit an absentee bid form. Please call the Bid Department at (212) 606 7414 for further information.
There are four ways to bid in this sale:
Bid in the room by attending the auction in New York and raising your paddle (issued upon registration).
Bid by absentee. An absentee bid is a form you fill out and return to Sotheby’s bid department via fax or mail. The form indicates the highest amount you would like to bid for an item or items. The auctioneer will submit bids on your behalf as necessary, up to — but never above — the amount you specify. Absentee bid forms are printed in the back of each catalogue, and are available at Sotheby’s offices and at www.sothebys.com.
Bid over the telephone through a Sotheby’s representative, who sits in the room and conveys your bid to the auctioneer. Phone bidding is best when you have not set a limit for an item and want to pursue it until it’s yours. Call the Bids Department at (212) 606 7414 to set up an account.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium
For more information, please visit www.sothebys.com or www.scpauctions.com.