Muhammad Ali is being memorialized in non-fungible token (NFT) form 50 years on from “The Fight of the Century” in which the boxing icon faced Joe Frazier in New York City. Ali lost the fight to “Smokin’ Joe” on March 8, 1971, but went on to win two subsequent bouts in 1974 and 1975.
The digital collectible is hitting the market as NFT mania reaches fever pitch. NFTs are digital assets that represent a wide range of unique tangible and intangible items, from sports cards to virtual real estate. Unlike bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, whose units are meant to be interchangeable, each NFT contains distinguishing information that makes it distinct from any other NFT.
Underscoring their current popularity, last week a bidding war over an NFT of an early tweet by Jack Dorsey reached seven figures.
The legendary pugilist’s NFT is coming thanks to a partnership between Ethernity Chain and the Muhammad Ali Center, the museum dedicated to Ali’s life and career located in his hometown of Louisville, Ky.
“The Ali Collection” is designed to celebrate the boxer’s life and legacy, featuring famous photographs of Ali and Frazier taken in 1971 by Sports Illustrated photographer Neil Leifer.
Dubbed the “first historically significant NFT” by Ethernity, the token will drop in late March with a portion of the proceeds going to the Ali Center, according to a press statement.
Founded by early bitcoin investor Nick Rose Ntertsas, Ethernity Chain aims to explore the application of NFTs for artistic and philanthropic purposes through celebrating famous pop culture figures and events.