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Muhammad Ali’s ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ Belt auctioned for $6.18 million

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Muhammad Ali’s ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ Belt Auctioned For $6.18 Million. Credit: Early Report

The heavyweight title belt from the legendary “Rumble in the Jungle” fight that Muhammad Ali won in 1974 has been sold at an auction  for $6.18 million.

Jim Irsay, the owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts, a professional American football team, won the competitive battle for the belt, according to Dallas’ Heritage Auctions.

Irsay acknowledged in a tweet on Sunday that he bought the belt for his collection of rock music, American history, and pop culture artifacts

The belt was on display at an exhibition on August 2 at Chicago’s Navy Pier and on September 9 in Indianapolis.

“After several hours of watching two bidders go back and forth over this belt,” Chris Ivy, the Heritage Director of Sports Auctions,  said in a press release, calling the bidding “a battle worthy of the Rumble itself.”

Jim Irsay already owned a number of other highly sought-after items from Muhammad Ali’s career, such as the 1965 walkout robe on which the name Muhammad Ali first appeared and the boxer’s sneakers from the epic 1975 “Thrilla in Manila” fight against Joe Frazier.

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On August 2 in Chicago and on September 9 in Indianapolis, Irsay will present the public with a full exhibition of this collection, including the “Rumble in the Jungle” belt, its newest acquisition.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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