Colts owner Jim Irsay pays an exorbitant amount to buy belt worn by Muhammad Ali
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has a net worth of $3.5 billion and could buy most things with great ease. His most recent purchase certainly proves that money is not an issue for him. The 63-year-old owner bought boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s heavyweight championship belt from his “Rumble in the Jungle” title fight against George Foreman. Heritage Auctions disclosed that the belt was purchased for $6.18 million.
The challenger, Ali, and the champion, Foreman, fought for the heavyweight championship in October 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaire.
“Rumble in the Jungle” was Africa’s first heavyweight championship match. In the eighth round of the matchup, Ali got off the ring ropes and countered with a series of rapid punches that got the better of a tired Foreman.
A hard left and a biting right from Ali finally had Foreman’s exhausted legs locking up and the champion fell to the canvas. The referee counted Foreman out with just two seconds remaining in the round for Ali to regain his title.
According to the Indianapolis owner, the title will be shown for the first time next month in Chicago, and will later go on display in Indianapolis in September.
However, Irsay has much more in his personal collection than just Ali’s title from that contest. He also owns a Jackie Robinson bat, the original “Wanted” poster for President Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, and Prince’s guitar. Additioanlly, he has former Beatles member Paul McCartney’s original “Hey Jude” lyrics.
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The Colts under Irsay
Irsay was the Colts’ vice president and general manager from 1984 until his father, Robert, passed away in 1997. His father's death subsequently saw him become the team’s owner. Since taking over as owner, the team has made 16 playoff appearances, including the Super Bowl twice.
The team won Super Bowl 41 in the 2006/7 season against the Chicago Bears. It marked the Colts’ first Lombardi Trophy in Indianapolis and their second in franchise history. Although, they came up short in their second appearance, losing to the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl 44 in the 2009/10 season.
The team last made the postseason in the 2020 season, where they lost in the Wild Card Round to the Buffalo Bills. We’ll see if Irsay can add to his Super Bowl collection in 2022 as the team looks to make another playoff run with new quarterback Matt Ryan.