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Colts owner buys Ali ‘Rumble’ title belt for US$6.18 mln

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Rumble in the Jungle: Muhammad Ali (left) fights George Foreman. – AFP photo

WASHINGTON (July 25): Boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s championship belt from his 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” victory over George Foreman has been purchased by Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay for US$6.18 million.

Noted memorabilia collector Irsay announced the purchase Sunday on Twitter, saying he was “proud to be the steward” of the historic World Boxing Council belt.

Irsay hinted the item might be shown at an August show of his collection in Chicago as well as in September at Indianapolis.

The sale price early Sunday through Heritage Auctions, reported by Sports Collectors Daily, was called among the highest prices ever paid for a sports memorabilia item.

Ali upset previously undefeated Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) with an eighth-round knockout to reclaim the world heavyweight crown.

Ali, who died in 2016 at age 74, kept the WBC crown until losing to Leon Spinks in 1978. – AFP