LARGE OVERHEAD PHOTOGRAPH OF MUHAMMAD ALI FIGHTING CLEVELAND WILLIAMS, ONE OF ONLY 350 COPIES SIGNED BY PHOTOGRAPHER NEIL LEIFER, THIS COPY ADDITIONALLY SIGNED BY ALI
(ALI, Muhammad) LEIFER, Neil. Large original color photograph signed. No place, November 1993. Poster-sized photographic print, image measures 19 by 19 inches, entire print measures 24 by 20 inches (signed beneath the image). Matted and framed, entire piece measures 28 by 31 inches. $8800.
Extraordinary poster-size color photograph taken from overhead of Muhammad Ali returning to his corner with his fists raised over his head in triumph, leaving behind a sprawled-out Cleveland "Big Cat" Williams, one of only 350 copies printed and signed by the photographer Neil Leifer, this copy additionally signed by Ali.
Ali fought "Big Cat" Williams in defense of his heavyweight championship on November 14, 1966 in Houston. Many feel that this was the finest fight of Ali's career. Afterward, Ali summed up the fight: "Sonny Liston said Williams hit the hardest of any man he ever fought… He survived a gun shot wound at near point blank range. They said he hit so hard he couldn't keep sparring partners… By round three he was knocked out." Renowned sports photographer Neil Leifer chronicled Ali throughout his career and captured many of the defining images of "The Greatest." "There's no sport I enjoy photographing as much as boxing. The atmosphere of a big-time fight-the crowd, the fashion show, all the celebrities-is electric… Over the last 42 years, I've shot almost every major fight and every major fighter… But my favorite subject, no matter what the sport, was and still is Muhammad Ali." Number 59 of only 350 copies numbered and signed by Leifer, only some of which were additionally signed by Ali. With certificates of authenticity documenting the original edition and date (October 14, 1996) on which Ali signed the piece.