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While he was known to fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee in the ring, late boxing legend Muhammad Ali apparently could also sketch like an artist.

Drawings done by The People’s Champion himself were recently introduced at auction in NYC, where they sold amongst some of his other collectibles for close to $1 million.


According to The Washington Post, more than 30 drawings and sketches made by Ali were included in a sports memorabilia collection kept by his mentor Rodney Hilton Brown. The auction, titled “TCM Presents … It’s a Knockout!,” was organized by Bonhams and also included Ali-related collectibles and past possessions like his boxing gloves.

Read up on some of the art gems Ali left behind in this one-of-a-kind collection below, via The Post:

“The centerpiece of the collection, a 1978 painting entitled ‘Sting Like a Bee,’ which Ali drew while starring in the historical drama ‘Freedom Road’ in Mississippi, fetched $425,312 at auction — ten times the original estimated sale price of $40,000 to $60,000.

The second most popular item, a 1979 painting entitled ‘I Love You America,’ was sold for $150,312, while the lowest-grossing item, a preparatory sketch of “Sting Like a Bee,” went for $637.

While a few items have not yet sold as of time of publication, Ali’s original artwork grossed nearly $950,000 overall.”

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Ali’s artistic prowess could be accredited to his lineage. His dad, Cassius Clay Sr., was a painter himself that specialized in signs and billboards. Actually, the “Knockout” exhibit at Bonhams also includes four canvases done by Clay Sr.

Brown’s collection originated after a 1977 meeting resulted in a friendship that, as described in the full Bonhams auction catalog, “led to regular painting sessions at Rodney’s apartment in New York or various hotel rooms wherever Ali happened to be staying.”

The Greatest, indeed! Take a look at some of the top-sellers below:

Rare Art By Muhammad Ali Auctions For Almost $1 Million With Other Collectibles  was originally published on