Regular price $175.00

On June 29th, 1979, world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali faced Governor Brendan Byrne and Jersey City Mayor Thomas Smith in exhibition bouts at the Jersey City armory. The supposed purpose of the event was to raise money for the Medical Center. Governor Byrne, fearing that Smith might rile Ali with a real punch, insisted on the first match. Brendan Byrne wore a down vest during the fight. He claimed that the garment was to cushion blows to the midsection. Here’s how a Jersey Journal reporter described the contest: “Byrne had the best figure of the aging trio and he moved like the tennis player he is. “His attitude was completely light in mood, whereas Smith came on serious and was still punching away at the end of round two.” Who won? In The Powerticians Smith wrote, “The Jersey City Medical Center was the winner, which received the gate proceeds.” The accuracy of this statement is not certain, for ticket sales were flat. But, Tommy Smith did donate $10,000 from his gubernatorial campaign fund to the hospital. Offered here is a scarce souvenir pin from this event.
This is a celluloid, original pinback picturing Tommie Smith and Muhammad Ali. Front of pin has bold, clear images and print. There is some foxing on the perimeter. Pin firmly attached. There is some rusting on the reverse. No dents. 3 inches in diameter.

Size: 3 inch diameter

Condition: good