Sports Illustrated Blog #109 on our way to #200 – Don’t Sleep on The RING, Inc
Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.
If you look closely, you will see a new publication making headway into our hobby. Although not considered one of the big four, boxing has contributed some of the most exciting, iconic, meaningful moments in sports history and RING Magazine has been front and center for over 115 years.
Between 1960 and 1980, Muhammad Ali patrolled the square with a huge personality to match his mega talent. “I am the greatest!” he used to brag. “But it ain’t brag if you can do it.” His first defeat of Sonny Liston in 1964 shocked the boxing world and perhaps was one of the greatest upsets in sports history let alone boxing history. His conscientious objector status from the military earned him a 3 year ban from the sport but upon his return, he began single handedly transforming the boxing world (see below).
In the four years between 1971 and 1975, his four fights, three with Joe Frazier including the “Thrilla in Manilla” and the “Rumble in the Jungle” with George Foreman, catapulted an entire sport into must see viewing events. Nowhere else in sports history (with the possible exception of Arnold Palmer) has one man, or even one team, succeeded in completely transforming an entire industry from a dark, little understood syndicate with a criminal underbelly dominated by a few powerful, shady characters to a very interesting, highly competitive, informative, challenging, bright, braggadocios, storytelling, story book tale which captured an entire nation and world.
The Ali, Frazier, Foreman trilogy was captivating like no other and RING was there to tell the whole story. The surprises, upsets, mega promoting, Cosell interviews, journeys to the top, and story book fantasies were expertly captured and kept alive thru ringside documentaries.
Who can forget the Cosell call – “Down Goes Frazier!, Down Goes Frazier!, Down Goes Frazier!”
RING Magazine offers a ton of stuff collectors really like. The covers are esthetically captivating. Skillfully mixing bright yellows and reds, they capture up to the moment action shots as they happened. The story telling moves uninterrupted from one issue to the next because this publication did not interrupt the sequence of events with other sporting news.
Several years ago, I began writing about RING and its collectable virtues but wasn’t very successful in obtaining high enough grades to spark meaningful interest. I’ve since found that RING mags from this era have not held their condition against the test of time as well as other publications. My suspicion is that most issues were very often faithfully read from cover to cover.
However, this is not necessarily a bad thing as it tends to make higher graded issues more valuable. As interest drives value, very high graded RING’s are popping up on the CGC census. I’m already predicting some of these new grades will never be beat and RING’s first entry pricing is extremely investment worthy. So don’t sleep on RING.
I hope you are enjoying the reads on the history of SI, SPORT, and RING magazines as well as an insight into relevant magazine collecting.
Great collecting to you in our second century of blogs and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/SPORT magazines.
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