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Rumble in the Jungle: Muhammad Ali championship belt sells for $6.18M

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This is a Oct. 30, 1974 file photo of Muhammad Ali, right, as he stands back as referee Zack Clayton calls the count over opponent George Foreman, in Kinshasa, DRC

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s championship belt from his 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” victory over George Foreman has been purchase by NFL Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay for $6.18 million.

Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, prevailed in the competitive battle for the belt, according to Dallas’ Heritage Auctions.

Irsay, a well-known memorabilia collector, tweeted about the acquisition on Sunday, saying he was “honoured to be the keeper” of the legendary World Boxing Council belt.

He confirmed that he bought the belt for his touring collection of rock music, American history, and pop culture artefacts.

On August 2 at Chicago’s Navy Pier and on September 9 in Indianapolis, the belt will be on display.

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Sports Collectors Daily cited the Heritage Auctions sale price as one of the highest amounts ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia.

One of the most enduring events in boxing history was the fight in 1974. In Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Ali defeated the intimidating George Foreman in the eighth round to win back the heavyweight championship.

Ali held the WBC title until he was defeated by Leon Spinks in 1978.

He passed away in 2016 at the age of 74.

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