Muhammad Ali’s ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ Belt Was Bought By The Owner Of The Indianapolis Colts

Muhammad Ali’s W.B.C Championship belt was recently bought at auction by Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, for $6.18 million. 

Ali won the championship belt after knocking out George Foreman at the “Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974. Ali was a 4-1 underdog going into the fight, but was able to wear Foreman down using his signature “rope-a-dope” strategy, and eventually earned a knockout in the 8th round. It was one of the most notable sporting events of the 20th century. 

Image by Heritage Auctions,

* Louisville history note: Hunter S. Thompson was supposed to cover the fight for Rolling Stone magazine, but decided at the last minute to stay at the hotel pool. 

Ali’s belt was the highest-selling item of the auction, which featured over 1,600 pieces of Ali memorabilia amassed over three decades by Troy Kinunen of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Other notable items sold include:

  • Muhammad Ali’s robe from “The Fight of the Century” vs. Joe Frazier sold for $348,000
  • Muhammad Ali’s robe from a 1977 fight vs. Earnie Shavers sold for $87,000
  • Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves from a 1976 fight vs. Ken Norton sold for $63,000
  • Muhammad Ali and Henry Cooper’s boxing gloves from a 1966 fight sold for $55,200
  • Muhammad Ali’s trunks from a 1976 fight vs. Jean-Pierre Coopman sold for $42,000
Tweet by Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts.

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