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 BCN 273 is posted in the members only area now. 30 PAGES!!

Buying Ali signatures

It is safe to assume that, at any one time, a person could purchase literally hundreds of items signed or supposedly signed by Muhammad Ali. Just put the search criteria in eBay or Google right now and you will see. Me? I wouldn't buy any that I couldn't pinpoint to a date and time and circumstance of the signing and from a source I trust. And I place no significance in so-called letters of authentication. All of these are careful to state that theirs is just an opinion and a learned opinion can be valuable but it is difficult to know who to trust. Perfect example. I have seen a PSA-certified signed photo of the old lightweight, Battling Nelson. PSA is a generally respected LOA source. I have maybe 8 other Nelson signatures to compare it to and they do not compare in my view but then it doesn't stop there. You see the photo itself is of Terry McGovern, not Nelson. So here's what you can't count on – that if you sell the piece later, the buyer will readily accept your LOA as authentic. For no signature is this truer than Muhammad Ali's. Start with the assumption that anyone can be fooled by a clever forgery and then look at how simple Ali's small signature is these days and you may stop collecting them altogether.

Did you know?

The oldest pursuit in all sports collecting

Collecting boxing memorabilia is one of the oldest if not THE oldest pursuits in all sports collecting. Since the sport dates back to gladiatorial contests with the "cestus" wrapped around the gladiators' hands, certainly someone was collecting items about their favorite gladiator. There are, at the very least, marble statues of the time. Later, handbills, newspaper articles, prints, etc. can be found from the late 1700's and the earliest collectible photos, cartes de visites, can be found from boxers in the mid-1800's. The popularity of boxing has fluctuated over the centuries but the resilience of it in the public appetite for sport is unquestioned. And the major collections of boxing memorabilia in the world today are testament to that resilience. Whether the fight program from the '20's or the fight-worn gloves of the 1990's, or an Etruscan vase with two men fighting on the side, boxing memorabilia remains among the historically richest of all such interests and the most diverse.