December 2019 Holiday Premium Auction
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Memorialized in the 2005 Ron Howard film, Cinderella Man, the James Braddock story is a classic American tale of triumph, defeat, struggle, and redemption. After a promising 44-2-2 start to his boxing career, Braddock suffered a severely broken right hand in a 1928 loss to Tommy Loughran, the #7 ranked light heavyweight of all-time. After going 11-20-2 in his next 33 fights, Braddock was forced to retire from boxing and accept government relief assistance during the Great Depression, ultimately finding work as a longshoreman. According to his legend, Braddock favored his left arm and hand during the grueling days of non-stop loading and unloading freight, and gradually his left side became stronger than his natural right.

Then, in 1934, Braddock was given a fight against John Griffin, who he knocked out in the third round. After defeating heavyweight title contenders John Henry Lewis and Art Lasky, Braddock was finally given a title fight against the World Heavyweight Champion, Max Baer. Braddock had been selected by Baer's handlers because he was considered an easy contender, despite his recent victories. Instead, on June 13, 1935, at Madison Square Garden, the 10-1 underdog Braddock won the Heavyweight Championship of the World in what was called "the greatest fistic upset since the defeat of John L. Sullivan by Jim Corbett," earning himself the title of "Cinderella Man" from famed newspaper writer Damon Runyon.

Proudly offered in his lot is the first example of Braddock's colorful 1937 Ogden's Limited Champions of 1936 issue to ever grade PSA 10 Gem Mint. Only one other copy from the popular cigarette issue has ever attained equal Gem Mint 10 status, a Jesse Owens example that fetched nearly $5,000 in bids in a recent 2019 Heritage Auction. According to his legend, after his comeback, Braddock returned the welfare money he had received and began working to help feed the homeless, often serving them as guests in his own home. Artists and writers have long recognized the color purple is emblematic of royalty, and the James Braddock story is one of a distinctly American type of royalty. Add some world class to your boxing collection with a knock-out bid on this royal collectible today.
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