Regular price $215.00

HISTORY: Buster Mathis (June 5, 1943 - September 6, 1995) had a very successful career as an amateur heavyweight boxer. He qualified for a spot in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. However, he was injured and was unable to compete there. Instead of him, the fighter Mathis beat in the Olympic Trials went to the Olympics. This fighter was the legendary Joe Frazier, who went on to win the gold medal. Mathis turned professional in June 1965 with a second round knockout victory over Bob Maynard. Buster Mathis went on to win his next 22 contests as well and qualified for a shot at the New York State Athletic Commission World Heavyweight Title, which had become vacant after Muhammad Ali was stripped of the title for refusing to be drafted into the United States army. The fight was to be held March 4, 1968 in New York's Madison Square Garden and the fighter he had to beat for the championship was Joe Frazier, his old nemesis. Mathis made a promising start to the contest but could not keep up with the lighter Frazier and lost the fight by an 11th round knockout. Buster Mathis continued to fight in the following years, outpointing highly regarded ironman George Chuvalo, but losing on points to Jerry Quarry - a fight Mathis was favoured to win. Mathis retired after losing to Quarry in 1969, but returned in 1971 to box Muhammad Ali for the NABF belt, losing on points over 12 rounds. Ali was later criticized for not finishing Mathis in the final rounds of the fight. After Mathis was knocked out in three rounds in August 1972 by fast-rising puncher Ron Lyle, he decided to retire for good from boxing. Mathis suffered from various health problems in later years, such as diabetes and kidney problems. He suffered a heart attack and two strokes. His compulsive eating had ballooned his weight to 550 pounds and, in 1995, he died of a heart attack at age of 52. He won 30 fights (21 by KO) and lost 4 (with Frazier, Jerry Quarry, Ali and Lyle). Offered here is a scarce signed photograph of Buster Mathis.

FULL DESCRIPTION: This is a paper, blank backed, promotional, 8" x 10" photograph of Buster Mathis. Signed in the upper left corner in red sharpie. No creases or tears. Bold, clear image. Clean front and back.

Size: 8 x 10

Condition: near mint