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Kray versus Tyson: rare boxing letter goes under the hammer

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A letter written by notorious gangster Reggie Kray, predicting a glittering boxing career for Mike Tyson, is set to go under the hammer.

John Rolfe Auctions, based at the old Babdown Airfield near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, will showcase the precious Tyson letter during a four-day sale, starting on April 20th.

The letter had been stored in a suitcase for 30 years and in the ownership of Clive Parry for 37 years. Kray penned the letter to Parry from Gartree Prison near Leicester in the 1980s.

Kray letter 5 | Kray versus Tyson: rare boxing letter goes under the hammer
A selection of Kray twins memorabilia will go under the hammer in April at John Rolfe Auctions near Tetbury in Gloucestershire.

In an extract from the letter, Kray wrote: “I still have friends in the boxing world. Tyson I feel is a great champion at least he will prove to be so.” 

Tyson is regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990. Now aged 57, Tyson shocked the boxing world when he announced he will be fighting Jake Paul, 27, in Texas on July 20, with streaming giant Netflix set to televise the bout.

John Rolfe Auctions 1 | Kray versus Tyson: rare boxing letter goes under the hammer
Auctioneer John Rolfe with the shirt worn by gangster Reggie Kray which will go under the hammer next month.

“Kray was a keen boxer along with his gangland twin Ron and tried to keep in touch with what was going on in the boxing world,” explained John Rolfe.

And while Tyson was in prison, the boxing legend spent his time in correspondence with the notorious East End gangster.

“We’ve since found out Tyson is a keen collector of Kray memorabilia and even wrote to Reggie Kray when Tyson himself was serving time in prison.”

Kray obviously had an eye for anything boxing and it’s amazing to think of the career Tyson went on to have – we’re really excited to have this letter to auction along with an order of service for Ron’s funeral.

“This is the second time we’ve auctioned Kray items and our last auction brought in over £900 for letters he penned at HM Prison Maidstone and HMP Blundeston between 1988 and 1991, while serving a life sentence for murder.

Kray letter 8 | Kray versus Tyson: rare boxing letter goes under the hammer
A card signed by Reg Kray.

“We sold a further letter and that’s from HMP Blundeston and a signed photograph of Reggie lifting some weights and looking quite hunky.”

April’s auction also features a shirt worn by notorious gangster Reggie Kray whilst he was serving time in Shepton Mallet Prison in Somerset.

For more information: www.johnrolfeauctions.com

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