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$eight.9m buys Ali’s Rumble in the Jungle belt

Muhammad Ali’s championship belt from his legendary 1974 ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ world heavyweight title fight has sold at auction for $US6.18 million ($A8.91 million).

The winner of the heated competition for the belt was Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, according to Heritage Auctions in Dallas.

In a tweet on Sunday, Irsay confirmed he had acquired the belt for his collection of rock music, American history and pop culture memorabilia that is currently touring the country.

“Proud to be the steward!” Irsay tweeted.

“After several hours of watching two bidders go back and forth over this belt, this proved to be a battle worthy of the Rumble itself,” Chris Ivy, Heritage’s director of sports auctions, said in a statement.

The 1974 fight was one of boxing’s most memorable. Ali stopped the fearsome George Foreman to recapture the heavyweight title in the African nation of Zaire.

Ali, who adopted the famous ‘rope-a-dope’ tactics by letting Foreman punch himself out, won the fight by knockout in the eighth round.

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