Boxing: Muhammad Ali's gloves from the first Joe Frazier fight auctioned for over £230,000

Ali went on to lose the match before beating Frazier twice in their epic trilogy of bouts

The boxing gloves Muhammad Ali wore in his first bout with Joe Frazier, dubbed the ‘Fight of the Century’, have been sold at auction for nearly $400,000.

Frazier beat Ali in their first encounter in 1971, with the unanimous decision going the way of ‘Smoking Joe’ after 15 gruelling rounds to see him retain his honour of being the undisputed World Heavyweight Champion.

At an auction house in Cleveland in the United States, Ali’s gloves fetched $388,375 (£230,766.95) even though he went on to lose the match.

Ali's gloves that he wore in the first fight against Frazier, signed by him and trainer Angelo Dundee Ali's gloves that he wore in the first fight against Frazier, signed by him and trainer Angelo Dundee Ali would go on to gain revenge as he won their next two battles in 1974 and 1975, but the first bout took on a much greater significance given that Ali had been stripped of the title due to his famous refusal to enlist in the United States army and fight in the Vietnam War.

The inside of the gloves can be seen to be dated and signed by both Ali and his trainer Angelo Dundee.

Ali goes down in the 15th round after a thunderous left hook from Frazier Ali goes down in the 15th round after a thunderous left hook from Frazier The winning bidder elected to remain anonymous, and the auction is the second time the same auction house have sold a pair of Ali’s gloves after the pair he wore in his first World Championship fight against Sonny Liston fetched just shy of half-a-million pounds.

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