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Ali v. Frazier I “Round XV” by LeRoy Neiman

Ali v. Frazier I “Round XV” by LeRoy Neiman

One of the finest Neiman’s you will ever see. Explosive watercolor on artist’s paper of the “Fight of the Century.” High impact color treatise of this pugilistic battle that went far beyond the ring was purchased directly from Neiman upon its completion in 1971. Entitled “Round XV” the subject is Frazier landing the big left hand that he had been itching to all night. This was Smokin’ Joe’s revenge for the Uncle Tom label that Ali gave him in the pre-fight babble. Neiman interprets the connection of a mighty fist with iron jaw as a brutal explosion of psychedelic color. It represents the release of a man who was banned for fighting for more than three years while the other felt he had been betrayed with an Uncle Tom label while trying to help a brother. Directly below the main image is a secondary “ghosted” image seemingly lost in a jungle of reds and greens. In this filmatic work of art he is taking the next step of his body flying sideways from the force of the punch. The third and final step is a pen & ink in the white matte of Ali hitting the canvas for the first time in his career. Neiman has “hidden” the image of Frazier standing above him like a reversal of the Neil Leifer interpretation of the Clay-Liston exchange six before. Dated 3-8-71, it is signed on both the watercolor and the pen & ink. The print is about 14x20” and is overall 22x28” in its original frame. A piece befitting the “Fight of the Century.” This is the “Neiman of the Century.”


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