TYPE: Gloves
COMPONENTS: Included in the lot is one 8x10 original newspaper press photo and four one of a kind oversized (13.5"x9") original Sports Illustrated photos documenting the exchange at the press conference, two of which clearly picture these mink gloves. (not pictured)
CONDITION: Fine condition. The soft cream-colored fur has come loose at the seams to some degree, but this could be easily restored, and it is hardly even apparent unless the gloves are handled. If we lift the fur at a loose seam, we can see the "Frager" labeling of the glove, a model favored by Liston. Handwritten markings inside the wrist of the gloves are quite faded, though "Sonny Liston" is clearly legible in the right. Pilling of the fabric here, and the apparent sweat-induced fading of the ink could lead us to a fairly safe conclusion that these gloves saw action on Liston's hands before being retired for use in this memorable stunt. In fact, there is reason to believe that the gloves were used in combat prior to their comical repurposing. We find handwriting at each interior wrist, faded beyond legibility, but typical of fight worn gloves. Also we see minor surface loss to the leather at the base of each wrist, suggesting tape removal.
NOTES: LOA from Craig Hamilton. LOA from Heritage Auctions.
ITEM ID: 4066
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Sonny Liston Mink Gloves Created to Promote First Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) Bout

DATE
Year: 1963
Decade: 1960s
Century: 20th (1901-2000)

Though it was his brash young challenger that was making a name for himself as a master showman, the reigning Champ proved he had a bit of P.T. Barnum flair himself when he unveiled the presented mink gloves at a press conference with Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), who would claim Liston’s belt in Miami Beach on February 25, 1964.

Liston, understandably annoyed at Clay’s immodest predictions of victory and his referring to the former gangland enforcer as “a big, ugly bear,” explained that he would wear these gloves in their forthcoming fight so that he wouldn’t mark up Clay’s pretty face.

The publicity stunt was the lead story in every boxing column nationwide the next day. More than a half century after that playfully menacing press conference, the gloves in question remain in fine condition, just as did Clay’s face when he jubilantly proclaimed, “I shook up the world!”