Boxing may be dying on its knees (with the Pacquaio-Mayweather debacle serving as its latest poison), but the great memories of pugilists past will remain with us forever. Taschen’s latest opus on Muhammad Ali, GOAT: Champ’s Edition, is the definitive volume on boxing’s greatest practitioner, collecting an insane amount of content relating to the champ over the last 50 years.
GOAT (acronym for Greatest Of All Time) is one huge treatise in eight-color print – 792 pages, consisting of over 600,000 words (collecting the best essays, interviews and writing on Ali) and over 3,000 images (all gloss-varnished). It’s XXL-sized, measuring 20 x 20 inches and weighing 75 lbs. It comes with two 80 x 20 inch gatefold sequences and four silver 20 x 20 inch gelatin prints (signed by both Muhammad Ali and photographer Howard L. Bingham).
The book sports a white silk cover with pink lettering, slid inside a silk-clad box featuring Neil Leifer’s iconic 1966 photograph of Ali vs Williams. Each of the 1,000 limited-edition copies are signed by both the living legend and sculptor Jeff Koons, who produced the sculpture “Radial Champs,” which is bundled into each copy of the volume.
A special release, the Champ’s Edition has been bound by the official bindery for the Vatican, who specializes in elaborate editions of the Bible and the Koran. It uses 200 gsm semi-matte paper throughout, with all images restored via the latest enhancements that digital technology can offer.
With that kind of work going into it, GOAT: Champ’s Edition is every bit as heavyweight as the man it profiles, tipping the retail scales at a hefty $15,000 a pop. Better house this in a glass cage when you take it home – that price ensures it deserves nothing less.