None other than legendary boxing trainer Angelo Dundee called it “the best thing to happen to boxing since boxing gloves.” While that might be a little hyperbolic, Dundee’s point is a good one.
Clearly, the greatest thing about Ringside Boxing Round One – the first stand-alone boxing set since 1996 Ringside – is “The Greatest” himself: Muhammad Ali.
“If you want to make the best boxing product possible, you need to secure the services of the best boxer of all time,” wrote Dr. Brian Price – whose Sport Kings LP is producing Ringside – in a letter promoting the product. “I am pleased to announce that Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer of all time, will be included in the product.”
Make no mistake: Price’s signing of “The Champ” is a bona fide history-maker. It will include Ali’s first autograph trading cards in 18 years. While Ali has been a frequent signer at shows in the past, his autographed trading cards are quite rare. His only other autographed card appeared in 1992 Pro Line Portraits and carries a current value of $500.
Ali also will be featured on base cards, insert cards and fight-used memorabilia cards. His presence alone is a huge sales point for the product and will undeniably help Ringside instantly appeal to a mainstream sports audience that has grown increasingly disenchanted with boxing.
Indeed, the sweet science doesn’t seem nearly as sweet as it used to, what with the continued proliferation and popularization of mixed martial arts nigh upon us.
But a trading card set devoted exclusively to the greatest pugilistic practitioners of all time? Well, that can still be really sweet. Judging not on a 10-point must system but from preliminary product details, it appears that Price will have a hit on his hands when Ringside releases in early June. The product represents a super-premium step up from anything that’s been done before, collectibles-wise, in the boxing arena.
Ali will be joined on the checklist by the likes of Lennox Lewis, Roy Jones Jr., Joe Frazier, Hector Camacho, Mike Tyson, Ray Mancini and Jake LaMotta to create a unique trading card experience not at all short on rich boxing history.
There will be two versions of the product:
- KO-version boxes will include two on-card autographs and either a fight-used memorabilia card or a 1/1 insert card in addition to 12 base cards and three Mecca Turkey Red insert cards. Gold and Onyx parallels of base cards and Mecca Turkey Red inserts will be KO-version exclusives.
- The TKO version is a more traditional 10-box case that includes one autograph every two boxes, one memorabilia card every two boxes and at least one Mecca Turkey Red insert per box.
A complete product checklist is slated to be revealed May 1. Stay tuned to Beckett.com for additional information.
Tracy Hackler is the editorial director for Beckett Media. Have a comment or question? Send an e-mail to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.