Boxing commentator's library fetches £32,000

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The boxing commentator Harry Carpenter, famous for his interviews with Frank Bruno, sold his reference library at auction for double the estimated price yesterday.

The 75-year-old's collection of books, newspapers, programmes and notes stretching over his 47-year career fetched a total of £31,900 at auction by Bonhams and Brooks.

Mr Carpenter, a former BBC commentator, said he was selling the memorabilia to make more space in his home. "The collection was just taking up too much room in my house, so I decided to auction it," he said.

"But it's typical because I've been asked to write a book, Harry Carpenter: Boxing Heroes, and all the information I need is in the books." The invitation came too late for Mr Carpenter to change his mind, and the sale went ahead as planned.

Among the items auctioned were programmes and personal records of boxing matches covered by Mr Carpenter, known in the sport as "fight files". The highest-selling item was his 1974-75 file on three fights: George Foreman vs Ken Norton, Foreman vs Muhammad Ali – the famous Rumble in the Jungle in Kinshasa, Zaire – and Ali vs Ron Lyle.

The file fetched a premium price of £3,680, while bound volumes of Boxing and Boxing News magazines from 1919 to 1930 sold for £2,530.

Also in the sale was a poster advertising the Rumble in the Jungle fight, thought to be one of only four in the world, which sold for £6,670.