A rare collection of paintings, sketches and drawings by legendary boxer Muhammad Ali has been auctioned for around $ 1 million.
Approximately 26 works of art were auctioned off at the Bonhams auction house in New York City.
“Sting like a bee” – one of the boxing champion’s most anticipated works sold for $ 425,000, about 10 times more than its speculative value.
It was painted while filming Freedom Road in Mississippi in 1978.
“Sting like a bee” is also the only work that features a complete poem by Muhammad Ali, said Helen Hall, director of popular culture at Bonhams.
The boxing champion’s father, who was a professional artist, encouraged him to experiment with brushes.
Eventually, Muhammad Ali took lessons from sports artist LeRoy Neiman.
“Muhammad Ali was a cultural icon who defined a generation. His works represent the subjects close to his heart: boxing, civil rights, religion, world peace and humanitarianism,” said Helen before the sale.
Muhammad Ali’s friend and art collector Rodney Hilton Brown had auctioned the works, reports the BBC.
Rodney said, Ali drew the first three pictures for him in 1977, after a fight in Boston.
According to the Reuters news agency, a 1979 red, white and blue canvas painting with the words “I love you America” sold for $ 150,000 and a 1967 felt-tip pen sketch comparing Islam to Christianity won $ 24,000.
The legendary boxer breathed his last at the age of 74 in 2016, decades after being diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease, Parkinson’s disease.