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Split glove ‘worn by Muhammad Ali in Henry Cooper fight’ to be sold at auction

<span>The glove is being held in a secret location and will be auctioned on 18 June, exactly 61 years after the fight at Wembley Stadium.</span><span>Photograph: Daniel Dayment/SWNS</span>
The glove is being held in a secret location and will be auctioned on 18 June, exactly 61 years after the fight at Wembley Stadium.Photograph: Daniel Dayment/SWNS

An auctioneer from Somerset is selling what he claims is one of the most famous pieces of sporting memorabilia – the split boxing glove from Muhammad Ali’s 1963 fight with Henry Cooper.

The left glove has gone down in boxing history because Ali’s trainer, Angelo Dundee, is said to have widened a rip in it to buy some time for his man, then fighting under the name Cassius Clay, after he had been floored by Cooper.

A pair of gloves featuring a split and said to be from the fight were sold by Christie’s in 2001 for £37,600, more than double the estimate.

But Stuart Bull, of Chard Auctions in Somerset, believes he has the genuine left glove and has set a guide price of £300,000 to £500,000.

Bull said: “I’m so excited about this sale. When I saw the pictures of the glove and all the evidence of its provenance it blew me away. I’m absolutely thrilled to bits that I’ve been chosen to promote this and to sell it on. I’m very confident it’s the real glove.”

The glove is being kept in a secret location and will be auctioned on 18 June, exactly 61 years after the fight at Wembley Stadium in London.

Bull claims the glove was returned after the fight to its maker, Baily’s, which was based in Glastonbury. According to the sales description, Cooper signed the glove in the 1980s.

It remained there until the late Richard Mayers, who was the managing director, gave the glove to his partner. The woman’s son, Simon Hawkins, from Seaton in Devon, is selling the glove.

A handwritten letter from Mayers says: “I declare this glove to be genuine. I’ve always been aware of it’s significance, safety and provenance.”

By bringing the torn glove to the attention of the referee, Dundee gained his fighter valuable recovery time, enabling him to carry on and eventually defeat his British opponent.

Christie’s declined to comment.