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Shorts worn by Muhammad Ali at the 'Thrilla in Manila' could fetch up to $6MILLION at auction… as a collection of championship sports memorabilia is sold off at Sotheby's

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  • Ali beat Frazier in 14 rounds after Frazier’s corner men called off the fight 
  • The ‘Thrilla in Manila’ is regarded as one of the best bouts of all time 
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news 

A special pair of boxing shorts worn by ‘The Greatest’ to ever step in a ring could fetch some big bucks at auction in the coming days.

Muhammad Ali‘s trunks that he wore at the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ against Joe Frazier- one of the most storied fights in boxing history – are up for sale at Sotheby’s in New York City.

With the current bid on the iconic piece of memorabilia sitting at $3.8million, Sotheby’s believes that it could fetch in a range between four and six million dollars by the time the lot closes on April 12.

The bout is universally regarded as one of the greatest and most brutal fights in the history of professional boxing – going 14 rounds in sweltering 120°F (49°C) heat.

It ended after Frazier’s corner men told the referee to stop the fight.

The pair of shorts worn by Muhammad Ali in the 'Thrilla in Manila' are up for auction

The pair of shorts worn by Muhammad Ali in the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ are up for auction

The fight between the then-heavyweight champion Ali and Joe Frazier is one of boxing's best

The fight between the then-heavyweight champion Ali and Joe Frazier is one of boxing’s best

It ended in the 14th round after a strong display by Ali led to Frazier's corner ending the fight

It ended in the 14th round after a strong display by Ali led to Frazier’s corner ending the fight

Frazier’s trainer, Eddie Futch, decided to call the fight after seeing the results of the 14th round – where Ali hit him with a flurry of punches – that left ‘Smokin’ Joe’ barely able to see.

Unbeknownst to Frazier’s corner, Ali was also about to retire – after instructing his trainers to cut off his gloves.

He later told biographer Thomas Hauser, ‘Frazier quit just before I did. I didn’t think I could fight anymore.’

A friend of Frazier’s who was at the fight, Denise Menz, later described the atmosphere in the Araneta Coliseum as ‘So intensely hot, I’ve never before felt heat like that in my life. Not a breath of air—nothing. And that was sitting there. Can you imagine being in the ring? I don’t know how they did it.’

It was the third and final fight between the two boxing legends – giving Ali a 2-1 advantage over Frazier and retaining his three heavyweight championship belts.

This auction is just one of many pieces of memorabilia being offered during Sotheby’s ‘Sports Week’.

The shorts are sold in Sotheby's Sports Week, which also includes Michael Jordan game-worn shoes in Game 5 of the 1996 NBA Finals against the Seattle SuperSonics

The shorts are sold in Sotheby’s Sports Week, which also includes Michael Jordan game-worn shoes in Game 5 of the 1996 NBA Finals against the Seattle SuperSonics

Also on offer is the jersey worn by Ernie Banks when he hit his 500th career home run

Also on offer is the jersey worn by Ernie Banks when he hit his 500th career home run

Also on offer by the auction house is LeBron James’ Lakers jersey from the game when he reached 38,000 NBA points (expected to be sold for up to $500,000) and his jersey from the 2024 NBA All-Star game ($300,000).

In addition, Kobe Bryant’s jersey from Game 1 of the 2009 Finals (up to $2.5m) is up for grabs, alongside Stephen Curry and Sabrina Ionescu’s jerseys from their historic 3-point challenge at All-Star weekend (up to $50,000).

A pair of Air Jordan 11s worn by Michael Jordan in Game 5 of the 1996 NBA Finals (up to $400,000) will be sold as part of a collection of 50 sneakers worn by some of the NBA’s greatest ever players. They include LeBron, James Harden, Bryant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Yao Ming.

Also among the items on offer is the jersey worn by Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks when he hit his 500th career home run ($500,000).