Henry Cooper (boxer)

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Sir Henry Cooper OBE, (born May 3 1934), was a British heavyweight boxer.

Cooper is often regarded as the most popular of all British boxers, and is known to Britons as "Our 'Enry". He was at one time the British, European and Commonwealth heavyweight champion. Cooper fought Muhammad Ali twice, firstly in a non-title fight in 1963 at Wembley Stadium, when Cooper knocked Ali (then Cassius Clay) down in the fourth round with his trademark left hook, "Enry's 'Ammer". The bell rang before Cooper could complete a knockout, and Ali was so dazed that his trainer, Angelo Dundee, cut his glove: another had to fetched, giving the future champion time to recover (1). After this fight a spare pair of gloves was always required ringside. Ali was obviously impressed by the knockdown and on the 40th anniversary telephoned Cooper to reminisce. The second time they met, in 1966 was in a world title fight. Cooper succumbed again to his weakness, a tendency to cut, and Ali went on to be "The Greatest". The most notable of his other fights was arguably his 15-round loss to Joe Bugner in the final fight of his career; this result so disappointed British fans that Bugner did not receive wide support thereafter.

Alongside figures such as Frank Bruno, Bob Fitzsimmons, Joe Bugner, Tommy Farr and Lennox Lewis, Cooper is regarded as one of the all-time best British heavyweights.

After his boxing career, Cooper famously advertised Brut aftershave and was very active in charity work. He was knighted in 2000, the first boxer to receive the honour.

Henry Cooper has an identical twin brother, George.

Career: 1954-1971, 40 wins (27 knockouts), 14 defeats, 1 draw

(1) This is disputed. Some say that the glove was split during the fight and Dundee simply pulled the insides out to make it look worse; furthermore, they claim that the glove was not changed and that the time between the rounds was just 5 seconds longer than standard.

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