Muhammad Ali’s shorts from the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ set to sell for $5M

Muhammad Ali’s iconic boxing shorts from the historic Thrilla in Manila bout are up for auction. It is poised to command a price tag of almost $5 million. These shorts were worn during one of the most legendary boxing matches in history.

The boxing shorts by Everlast were crafted from silk. It has managed to retain its pristine condition despite enduring the intensity of a gruelling 14-round battle. The shorts are pure white and have a distinctive black belt line and racing stripes on each leg.

Additionally, it also bears the signature of the boxing legend himself which further enhances its value to collectors and enthusiasts alike.

The shorts are expected to fetch up to $6 millionat Sotheby’s in New York.

The Thrilla in Manila event was held in the Philippines in 1975, and marked the third and final encounter between Muhammad Ali and his rival Joe Frazier. Prior to their iconic clash in Manila, the two boxing titans had squared off in historic matchups. This included the renowned Fight of the Century in New York (1971) and a memorable showdown at Madison Square Garden (1974).

With an estimated global audience of over a billion viewers, the Thrilla in Manila is considered to be one of the most compelling and brutal contests ever witnessed in the ring. Lasting for an epic 42 minutes, the bout unfolded amidst sweltering temperatures exceeding 49°C (120°F).

Following his win in Manila, Muhammad Ali candidly described the ordeal as similar to facing death. He talked about the physical and emotional toll exacted by the intense battle.

Reflecting on the profound impact of the match, Ali remarked: “It was like death. Closest thing to dying that I know of. We went to Manila as champions, Joe and me, and we came back as old men.”

Frazier was 31 years old at the time of the match. He went on to compete in two more matches before retiring.

On the other hand, Ali went on to compete for more than six years. After battling Parkinson’s disease for three decades, he passed away in 2016 at the age of 74.