CANDID PHOTOGRAPH OF ALI RECEIVING A PHONE CALL, INSCRIBED BY HIM
ALI, Muhammad. Photograph inscribed. No place, circa 1964. Glossy black-and-white photograph (8 by 10 inches). $800.
Striking backlit photograph of a young Muhammad Ali, boldly inscribed, “To Peter, from Muhammad Ali, 7-7-89.”
“Muhammad Ali was, he himself told us, ‘the greatest, the fastest, the prettiest, the dancin’est heavyweight boxer in the world— and, he might have added, the most photogenic. As his dear friend Howard L. Bingham, the photographer, has said: ‘He was born for the camera… No one in the world has a face like Ali” (New York Times). This head-shot of “The Greatest” in shirt and tie, talking on the phone, was probably taken around 1964. This was the year when 22-year-old Ali (Cassius Clay) challenged heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. Ali was considered a serious underdog, but the brash young boxer predicted he would knock Liston out in the eighth round. “He needed even less time to make good on his claim. Ali’s jab-and-dance technique tired Liston, who failed to come out of his corner at the start of the seventh round. Ali was crowned the new world heavyweight champion and proclaimed himself ‘The Greatest” (MSN). Based on similar inscriptions, the recipient of this photograph may well have been the Peter Moser who served on the committee for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.