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In this section I have included some of the rarest, not only boxing, but sports cards in general.

The cards listed below would only feature in very few collections around the world.

Please email me at if you have any more to add.

Boxer:Rocky Graziano
Year: 1948
Series: Boxing
Card No:??

Information courtesy of

This card is the ultimate boxing collector's card. Although it doesn't come close to it's rare baseball counterparts in terms of value, it is still as rare.

For years collectors thought that the Leaf gum company's "Knockout" set consisted of 49 cards, erratically numbered. Indeed, uncut sheets of the cards could be found that were exactly 7 cards by 7 cards. Then, about 10 years ago, a Rocky Graziano Leaf emerged and since then one more have been found

The Graziano card may not have been released except by accident or may have been recalled. One owner of the card says he got his in a trade with a neighborhood friend in New York City in 1949 so they must have been available (information courtesy of

A recent auction saw the Graziano Leaf card (PSA 5) sell for over $40,000 (including buyer's premium), setting a record for the most expensive boxing card.

Boxer:Max Schmeling
Year: 1956
Company: Gum Products Inc
Series: Adventure Card
Card No:#86

The Adventure series featured boxers in front of their national colours. This card is a very rare card featuring Max in front of the Nazi symbol of the Swastika. This card was taken out early in the set's release due to it's offensive nature.

When you do come across one, as usual, the cards in better condition, with better centering are more valuable.

These cards were sold in a vending machines, very similar to the old single vend stamp machines. You put a nickle in, pushed the slide in and got a folded cardboard insert with the card in it. This is the reason that these cards are generally in good shape when found is that they usually hadn't been removed from the cardboard.

Most Adventure Gum sets for sale on the market come without this card. This card can be found for around the $500 mark, but a recent sale of this card in top condition went for over $1000.

Boxer:Bob Murphy
Year: 1951
Series: Ringside
Card No:#49

Although not a high profile boxer, this short run card is very hard to come by, and as per the Adventure sets above, many Topps Ringside sets sold do not have card no 49 included.

This card generally commands hundreds of dollars in good condition (a recent ebay auction for a PSA 6 Ex-MT card sold for $1026), and cards in fair to average condition can still fetch hundreds of dollars, due to the rarity of the card, but during an auction in 2003, a PSA NM-MT 8 graded card fetched over $12,000 ! See here.

Boxers:Jack McAuliffe, Jem Smith & Jim Carney
Year: 1886
Company:Goodwin & Co.
Series: Old Judge Cigarettes (N167)
Card No:nno

Goodwin's first ever card sets and one of the very first cigarette card sets, it featured top pugilists of the time such as Jim Carney, Jem Smith and Jack McAuliffe.

The N167 set is mainly made up of beautiful women and baseball players, with only the three boxers featured.

The attractive sepia toned N167 Old Judge Cigarettes set was the predecessor to the very popular and highly sort after 1887 set (N172).

These cards are worth hundreds of dollars each, even in fair condition. Two recent auctions of sets of these 3 cards went for $6,599 (graded SCG 30,40 & 50) and $7,754. See here and here.

Year: 1887
Company:Lorillard Company
Series: Mechanic's Delight (N269)
Card No:1 to 50

This larger than average sized and very scarce set contains 50 numbered boxing cards which if found, sell for many hundreds of dollars, regardless of the boxer portrayed, or the condition the card is in.

The last recent auction consisted of 6 cards and sold for $6,380 (graded between SCG 10 and SCG50). See here.

Boxers:John L Sullivan
Company:Spaulding & Merrick
Series: N386
Card No:

I don't know a lot about this card, but it's obviously very rare, as a recent ebay auction (Nov 2006) saw this card sell for $5,377.

If anybody has further information about the history of this card, please email me at

Company:SF Hess & Co.
Series: (N332)
Card No:

Although believed to contain more than 80 cards in the set, these blank backed cards are extremely hard to come by and therefore command big dollars whenever they hit the market (they don't surface that often!)

As proof to the rarity of these cards, a recent sale on ebay saw a card in very poor condition, with fading and heavy creases sell for well over $100. If you found a card in good condition, expect to pay a king's ransom for the privilege of owning one.

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