The SELECT IMAGES 1 and SELECT IMAGES 2 represent the most popular photographs in the collection of Muhammad Ali in exhibitions and display presentations. All images are available for purchase as limited edition fine art prints. Each limited edition print is numbered with a certificate of authenticity and signed by Michael Gaffney. Archival fiber based paper and archival inks are used exclusively. Each print is made in high resolution reproduction quality without the catalog number or copyright identification. Paper print sizes are 13 x 19", 18 x 24", 24 x 34" with custom sizes available. Please email inquiries through CONTACT US. Prices begin at $750
The caption information tells the story of the photographs and are from Michael Gaffney's book, The Champ-My Year With Muhammad Ali. There are also original quotes from Muhammad Ali that accompany the photographs.
We were in Angelo Dundee's 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach where the Champ had trained for all his fights. He had just lost his Heavyweight Championship to Leon Spinks. The loss to Spinks rekindled a burning determination to win back the belt. There is a quiet strength about Muhammad Ali and why he will always be known as "The Greatest"...the heart of a champion, the soul of a saint.
The Champ relaxes in the locker room before the Earnie Shavers fight at Madison Square Garden. He was calm, cool and confident because he had put in three months of sparring, training and road work. He knew he was ready.
" I'm as confident as I say, and I'm better than I say I am."- Muhammad Ali
Bold and fearless, Muhammad Ali inspired the world not only for his skills in the ring but for his convictions on social, cultural and religious beliefs.
" I am America. I am the past you won't recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident and cocky. My name not yours. My goal my own. Get used to me."- Muhammad Ali
Champ had finished his morning workout in Miami at Angelo Dundee's 5th Street Gym when I asked him to run on the beach. Ali agreed and told me it would be good training for his leg strength running on the sand in combat boots. He told me he always ran in heavy combat boots so his boxing shoes would feel lighter in the ring.
"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses...behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road...long before I dance under those lights."- Muhammad Ali
While in Miami Beach, Florida, Veronica and Muhammad gave birth to their second daughter Laila. I asked to make pictures of his newborn daughter who was just two and a half weeks old. He agreed and we went to his apartment where he laid on the floor and held his child in his hands for this rare, tender moment of father and daughter.
" I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world."- Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is the very embodiment of American exceptionalism. He transcended his boxing fame and became the most important and culturally influential athlete in American history. He spent a lifetime giving a voice to people who needed to be heard and led millions to believe in themselves when nobody else would. Ali spoke his mind on Viet Nam, racial equality, religious tolerance and never backed away from the stormy social issues of the day.
" I've always been a rebel. Look at my lifestyle, look at the way I've been talking since the Viet Nam war. All my life, I've been cocky, rebelistic and different from most black people. It's always been in me. Check way back when I was Cassius Clay..."I am The Greatest, I'll destroy, I'm pretty. I always wanted to be different, cocky, arrogant and proud."- Muhammad Ali
There is a mystical sense with Muhammad Ali that certain fateful events in his life were meant to be. When young Cassius Clay had his birthday bicycle stolen off the streets of Louisville, it was Officer Joe Martin who responded and asked the sobbing youth to come to his gym and learn to box. At twelve years old, with a strong will to find the way, he began his journey to become the greatest boxer of all time.
" I knew my purpose when I was 12 years old...I was to be the World Heavyweight Champion. I didn't care what happened; there were obstacles in the back, in front, to the left and right of me...when you know that purpose, nothing stops you."- Muhammad Ali
These hands changed the world of boxing. The greatest lateral movement and the fastest hand speed and foot speed had never been seen before in a heavyweight fighter. Ali's speed, durability, heart and ring generalship were among the best ever. These hands that won 56 fights, 37 by knockout with 5 losses are being taped before the Earnie Shavers fight at Madison Square Garden, September 29, 1977.
Ali's easy smile hid the humiliating pain he felt for the shocking loss of the cherished Heavyweight Championship to Leon Spinks. He was above all a proud warrior, whose courage in the ring was legendary, but the aging fighter was being questioned on his diminishing fighting skills. Champ never one to dodge the press was gracious in defeat saying, "I lost fair and square to Spinks. I did everything right and I lost. I lost simply because Spinks was better, that's all."
Most of the time, there were crowds of people surrounding the world's most famous person. This is one of those rare times I was alone with the Champ in Madison Square Garden, as he worked on his fight plan hours before the Earnie Shavers fight. Ali floated effortlessly in circles, gracefully dancing while grunting to power each snapping punch in the air. He always made it look so easy...elegance in motion.
" Float like a butterfly...sting like a bee. Your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali worked constantly on his speed and fight strategies for every fight. He mastered trash talking and used "psychological warfare" trying to get an edge on his opponents with his "scientific" approach to boxing. He was a student to the game of boxing with a powerful champion's will to win.
" I'm young, I'm pretty, I'm fast and can't possibly be beat."- Muhammad Ali
The legendary Muhammad Ali checks his skills while mirror boxing at his Deer Lake Boxing Camp. Champ felt that all his celebrity and fame that he earned in boxing were for the purpose of creating a greater good for others. He felt a responsibility to be an inspired leader for his fans to believe in. This was the driving motivational force for Ali to stay competitive and at the top of his game.
" You're looking at the greatest fighter God ever made, and the nicest human being."
-Cornerman Drew "Bundini" Brown
Muhammad began his career as Cassius Clay with Angelo Dundee at the famous 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach, Florida, after he won an Olympic gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics. The 5th Street Gym with the legendary boxing manager, Angelo Dundee was home for Ali his entire career. It is a gritty gym, complete with signs that say, " Don't Spit in the Water Bucket."
" I am the Greatest...I said that even before I knew I was."- Muhammad Ali
The Champ getting in some road work at his Muhammad Ali Boxing Camp in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania. Ali had the names of boxing greats painted on the boulders, among them; Rocky Marciano, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson, Joe Lewis, George Foreman and Joe Frazier.
"When I beat Sonny Liston, I shocked the world. When I joined the Muslim's, I shocked the world. When I beat George Foreman, I shocked the world. I am from the House of Shock."- Muhammad Ali
There had never been anyone quite like Muhammad Ali when he arrived and captured the world stage. His attraction went far beyond his considerable skills in the ring which backed up his bold, outrageous style while still managing to be entertaining with his accurate, poetic predictions of knockout rounds of his opponents.
"He will be mine in round nine
If he makes me sore, I'll cut it to four
If that don't do, we'll get him in two
If he runs, we'll get him in one
And in your heart, you know I'm right
- Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali's style was established in the pre-fight buildup for his first Heavyweight title fight against the Champion Sonny Liston. Cassius Clay as he was known at the time, taunted and antagonized Liston who was a formidable power boxer that Clay called "The Bear." Clay was a serious underdog with 7-1 odds against him but that didn't stop the verbal assaults and boastful claims and Clay was labeled a loudmouth and called, "The Louisville Lip." When he beat Liston to win the Heavyweight Championship, the world realized, he was as good as he said he was and for the next three decades was the most dominant boxer in history...as well as the most entertaining.
Angelo Dundee once said," Muhammad Ali had a perfectly proportioned body for boxing, excellent balance, size and power with lightening fast hand and foot speed." But it was Ali's determination, dedication, work ethic and will to win that made him unstoppable.
" I am bigger than boxing. I am bigger than all the champions put together. I am bigger than the Super Bowl, the Rose Bowl, the Kentucky Derby and the Indianapolis 500. Where I go the world truly listens."- Muhammad Ali
The Muhammad Ali Boxing Camp in the Pennsylvania mountain town of Deer Lake was built by the Champ so he could focus on a difficult three month long regimen to train and spar for his fights. The camp was open to the public and everyday was filled with Ali fans who came to see the legend workout.
The veteran Muhammad Ali fight team gets ready for the Earnie Shavers fight in the Madison Square Garden locker room. (l-R) Dr. Ferdie Pacheco "The fight Doctor," Boxing Manager, Angelo Dundee and Cornerman, Drew "Bundini" Brown feel the mounting tension of a heavyweight fight. Ali stretched, cooly put his famous white robe on and screamed with Bundini their battle cry, "Rumble young man,,,Rumble" before walking down the tunnel to face the moment of truth.
Copyright © 2018 Michael Gaffney Collection of Muhammad Ali - All Rights Reserved. All copying of images is strictly forbidden with full copyright protection and prosecution of the Copyright Act of 1978 for any and all violations in compliance with The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
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