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Muhammad Ali’s shorts from the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ set to sell for almost £5MILLION at auction – and remain spotless despite gruelling 14-round fight

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The boxing shorts worn by Muhammad Ali in his Thrilla in Manila fight are set to sell for almost £5million.

The pair, which remain spotless despite the gruelling 14-round fight, are up for auction.

The silk Everlast shorts, pure white except for a black belt line and black racing stripes on each leg, are signed by Ali.

Sotheby’s in New York expects the item to sell for up to $6million (£4.8million).

The fight, which took place in the Philippines in 1975, was the third time the legendary boxer faced ‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier.

Muhammad Ali's shorts from his Thrilla in Manila fight. Sotheby¿s in New York expects the item to sell for up to $6million (£4.8million)

Muhammad Ali’s shorts from his Thrilla in Manila fight. Sotheby’s in New York expects the item to sell for up to $6million (£4.8million)

The silk Everlast shorts, pure white except for a black belt line and black racing stripes on each leg, are signed by Ali

The silk Everlast shorts, pure white except for a black belt line and black racing stripes on each leg, are signed by Ali

The pair had previously met at The Fight of the Century in New York in 1971 and again at Madison Square Garden in 1974.

It is believed a billion people worldwide tuned in to watch the Thrilla in Manilla, still regarded as the greatest and most brutal boxing match of all time.

The pair fought for 42 minutes, despite temperatures hitting 49C (120F).

After his victory, Ali said of the fight: ‘It was like death. Closest thing to dying that I know of.

‘We went to Manila as champions, Joe and me, and we came back as old men.’

Frazier, then 31, fought just twice more before retiring. Ali boxed for six more years.

He died at the age of 74, after a three-decades long battle against Parkinson’s, in 2016.



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