This Trophy item has the honor of being part of the Glen O’Brien collection. O’Brien’s collection is an important and integral part of boxing history. For countless years, O’Brien collected memorabilia from his hero Muhammad Ali. He was considered a close personal friend of Ali and deemed his biggest fan by the legend. O’Brien purchased many items directly from Ali and did exclusive autograph signings with him.
This particular offering was part of the rare and unique archive O’Brien had and was discovered in a singular cardboard box. Together and complete from the early amateur career of the Greatest. O’Brien’s family attests that this magical gathering was part of the items purchased directly from Ali.
The Golden Gloves tournaments still remain one of the most prestigious amateur boxing competitions in the country. By 1959, Cassius Clay was getting noticed in the boxing ranks. In the beginning of March (2-4 & Finals on 11th), the Golden Gloves light heavyweight Championship was held in Chicago. In the first rounds, Clay beat both Willie McMillan and Cliff Murkey. He won the tournament of Champions by defeating Jeff Davis on the last day of the tournament.
Clay then moved on to the sort out of the best of the best amateurs in the world.
This competition was the Intercity Golden Gloves Bouts (Tournament) held on March 25, 1959 at Chicago Stadium. Here the New York vs. Chicago finalists battled it out. This tournament matched Clay up against 29-year-old Brit Tony Madigan (94-5). However, it was no contest for Clay and he won a clean cut decision against Madigan by outpointing him. Clay had now beaten all the top amateur contenders in the world and was indeed the greatest. His best was still yet on the horizon.
Presented is one-of-a-kind piece of Clay memorabilia from the Inter-City Golden Glove Bouts in 1959 when he outpointed Madigan and truly became the greatest. This is Clay’s actual trophy that was presented to him. The engraving on the front is simple and states, “Intercity Light Heavyweight Champ – 1959 – Chicago Tribune”. The overall measurement stands at 11″. As mentioned in the above O’Brien biography, this trophy was found in a singular cardboard box from which many incredible items from Ali were found. Also featured in this auction is the program and full ringside ticket from the event (both items were also in the box).
Overall, an incredible find from O’Brien’s collection. The trophy along will include a letter from the family for authentication attesting the provenance directly from Ali. Check out the Roster of Golden Gloves through the years.