Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by COULDHAVEBEEN, May 1, 2011.
RIP, another void left that can never be filled, by a true champion that can never be replaced.
Every piece of footage I have or seen of Henry he comes across a real funny gentleman.
His knighthood was well deserved - RIP.
such a pity this is being over shadowed by that scum bucket Osama
Henry Cooper, unlike that ****, was a gentleman, a great athlete and a champion
Henry Cooper and Sydneys greatest fight
by Dalax May - The Roar - 5th May 2011
Henry Cooper, the British boxer who died a few days back at age 76, was known as King Enry, partly because he was the King of British heavyweights in his time, and partly because he dropped his aitches cockney-style.
He also dropped a young man named Cassius Clay in their bout at Wembley Stadium in 1963. Knocked him halfway through the ropes with a tremendous left hook.
But Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) was saved by the bell and his trainer, Angelo Dundee, who illegally used smelling salts on his charge and achieved a time-out by claiming that one of Alis gloves was torn.
Given valuable minutes, Ali recovered enough to bloody Cooper in the following round and the fight was stopped.
That dramatic, out-of-the-blue knockdown brings to mind another knockdown, one fondly remembered by many Aussies including my dad who was twelve years old and living in Sydney on September 1st, 1947.
It was on that day that Aussie lightweight champ, Vic Patrick, fought Freddy Dawson, the American contender, at Rushcutters Bay stadium, the Tin Shed, the original House of Pain whose ringside aisles still carried a scent of blood from past battles despite the best efforts of the cleaners.
It was at the even older open-air stadium, in 1908, that Jack Johnson won the world heavyweight title defeating an incredibly brave Canadian, Tommy Burns, in a slug fest that lasted fourteen rounds before being stopped by the police.
Johnson was a very big man but Burns was only five feet seven -1.70 cm and weighed just 76 kilos, a fight that probably wouldnt be sanctioned today.
Vic Patrick was a sensation in Australia in the late forties because he was thought to be world class, and Australia had had very few fighters of that calibre. An Aussie, Young Griffo, won the world featherweight title way back in 1890 when he beat the incumbent champ, a Kiwi, Tornado Billy Murphy.
Apart from Griffo and Maitland legend Les Darcy who, in 1914, won the Australian version of the world middleweight crown, that was it for Aussie titleholders. So all of Australia was glued to the radio for the Patrick/Dawson fight because if Vic won hed be going to the States to challenge Ike Williams for the world championship.
Vic was a southpaw, the most ungainly one anybody had ever seen. He carried his left hand down by his side and moved forward like a man hefting a heavy piece of furniture.
Freddy Dawson was his exact opposite, a smooth, lightning fast orthodox fighter, ring-savvy, expertly trained and hard to hit.
They went at it for ten rounds, Dawsons finesse against Patricks weird style. Freddy couldnt work the southie out, and when Vic tagged him in the seventh, that huge Aussie radio audience thought it was all over. But Freddy got up.
They fought on for three more rounds. Then came the eleventh round.
Toward the end of it Vics left hand powered up from somewhere near his left knee and Dawson never saw it coming. He went down like Ali went down, crashing through the ropes and tumbling over the apron.
All around Oz people went nuts, crazy, bananas. The most anticipated fight since the Johnson/Burns extravaganza seemed to be over and Our Vic would be getting a title shot which hed surely win. All that remained was for the ref to count Dawson out.
The ref didnt get the chance.
Freddy was bundled back into the ring but by this time the bell was ringing. Never mind, my dad said to my mom, the last rounds coming up and Vic will bore in on the groggy Yank and flatten him.
At this point in this sports anecdote Im going to ask a question: remember Brando as Terry Malone in On the Waterfront, remonstrating with his brother Charlie for not looking out for him? Terry says, I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender.
By class he meant refinement, elegance, style, exactly the kind of qualities Henry Cooper, for all his warmth and bonhomie, didnt have and Ali did. Exactly the kind of qualities Vic Patrick didnt have and Freddy Dawson did.
And just as Ali came back from a king hit to hammer Henry, so Dawson came out at the start of the twelfth and slammed Vic all over the ring, and Vic went down, flat on his back, out cold for a full three minutes.
Not a single person left the stadium until Vic was revived and helped to his feet. Then the place exploded with cheers and applause for both fighters. A standing ovation that went on and on.
That fight marked the end of Vic Patricks hopes for a title shot. He had several more fights in Australia then hung em up and became a popular boxing referee.
Freddy Dawson had several more bouts in Australia beating everybody he faced then, in 1949, finally got a title shot against Ike Williams.
He fought Ike to a standstill but lost on points, a decision almost certainly influenced by the Mob (Ike Williams manager was Blinky Palermo).
Years later, everybody who was at the Tin Shed that night in 1947 said it was the greatest fight they ever saw. And my Dad says it was the greatest fight he ever heard.
Henry Cooper. 1934 2011.
Vic Patrick. 1920 2006
Freddy Dawson. 1924 1992
Great read CBH, i've not been to The Roar site in quite a while, good to see an article like this come up. Enjoyable read.
Yeah, there's some good boxing sites about - surprised ESB posters don't seem to utilize them more.
Joe Bugner tribute to former British hero Henry Cooper
by Mike Walters - Daily Mirror - 18th May 2011
FORKED LIGHTNING crackled above the Gold Coast as if the boxing gods still disapproved of the verdict 40 years on.
And as Joe Bugner heard the news that Sir Henry Cooper had taken the final bell, the *storm raging around his home in Australia reminded him of one night at Wembley in 1971.
Bugner’s controversial win, by half a point, didn’t just send Cooper into retirement by taking away his British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight titles by the cruellest of margins.
Already enshrined in a nation’s affections as the man who put Cassius Clay, or Muhammad Ali as we know him today, on the canvas, Our ’En ry became the sporting martyr robbed by an asylum seeker. Bugner, whose family fled Hungary to escape Soviet *repression, was “dumbstruck” when he heard Cooper had died earlier this month.
It was as if a defining chapter had been ripped from the bound volume of his own life story, and this morning we shall close the book forever.
When Cooper’s funeral cortege passes along Brassey Road, Oxted, ahead of a private service in Tonbridge, Britain will bid farewell to one of its favourite sons.
Sure, his left hook was a bit tasty. But Cooper was always dignified, decent and well-mannered, whether he was a captain on A Question Of Sport or advertising a nostalgic fragrance by splashing it on all over.
Bugner, 61, moved to Australia 25 years ago, and was last spotted on our screens around a campfire on a reality TV show. When he returned to Britain to fight Frank Bruno at White Hart Lane in 1987, one banner in the crowd which greeted his arrival in the ring said it all. It simply read “boo”.
“Henry transcended boxing and all the brashness and arrogance that often goes with it,” said Bugner from his home in Queensland.
“Cassius Clay walked into the ring wearing a king’s crown and cloak, but Henry still dumped him on his backside. In that moment, he was the world heavyweight champion Britain never had.
“In a hundred years from now, nobody will remember Frank Bruno, Lennox Lewis or David Haye – they will just be footnotes in the archives.
“But Henry Cooper will still be revered because his name will live on as a people’s champion and a national treasure.” Bugner still bears the mental scars of that fateful fight at Wembley when he absconded into the night with a legend’s belts.
Less well-known is that he offered Cooper a shot at redemption, but the old boy’s gammy knee and sore shoulder were by then irreversible handicaps.
“You could say we had a love-hate relationship,” said Bugner. “I loved the thought of beating him but hated the way it turned the British people against me and drove me out of my country.
“To them, I was just this young moron who finished a legend’s career, and of course Henry never spoke to me for 37 years after our fight.
“I will always be grateful we buried the hatchet in London three years ago, because it would have been terrible for either of us to pass away without letting bygones be bygones. But I will always regret that Henry refused to fight me again, even though I challenged him to a rematch three times, winner takes all, and gave him the *opportunity to bow out of boxing as a winner.
“Henry deserved to retire undefeated and to this day I swear the only two people at Wembley who thought I had won were me and Harry Gibbs the referee.
“In the build-up, Henry had kept telling the media ‘Joe will fall to my ’ammer’ and afterwards I was a bit out of order because I asked him ‘What ’appened to your ’ammer tonight?’
“I soon found out that when you beat national treasures, a boxing ring can be the loneliest place on earth, but from now on, whenever I hear the sound of that bell at ringside, I will think of it as ’Enry’s ’ammer.
“After 17 years as a professional, Henry left a legacy nobody can touch. He was loved by his people and there will probably never be another fighter fit to walk in his shadow.”
I for one never hated Joe infact it was the opposite for me, as a young man Joe was a hero of mine . Good luck to the fella and I hope he is enjoying his life down under .
I respected Joe enormously for his earlier career (vs Frazier, Ali etc), but when he came over here with the Aussie Joe thing I was apprehensive at first.
I think Joe won all his fights on Aussie soil - 10 or 11 of them - and enjoyed a good following and respect from Aussie crowds.
Tributes paid to Sir Henry Cooper at funeral
from ESPN (UK) - 18th May 2011
The boxing world said goodbye to Sir Henry Cooper at his funeral on Wednesday.
The former European heavyweight champion, who famously knocked down Muhammad Ali in 1963, was laid to rest at a private ceremony in Tonbridge, Kent, after the procession had travelled through Oxted in Surrey, where he lived later in life.
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The boxer died aged 76 at his son's home in Oxted earlier this month.
Many hundreds of people turned out and lined the streets to pay their final respects to the man known affectionately as 'Our 'Enry', bowing their heads as the cortege bearing his coffin - draped with the Union flag - drove through towards Tonbridge.
Joe Bugner, Cooper's final opponent in the ring, paid tribute to the legend from his home in Australia.
"Henry transcended boxing and all the brashness and arrogance that often goes with it," Bugner told the Mirror. "Cassius Clay walked into the ring wearing a king's crown and cloak, but Henry still dumped him on his backside. In that moment, he was the world heavyweight champion Britain never had.
"In a hundred years from now, nobody will remember Frank Bruno, Lennox Lewis or David Haye - they will just be footnotes in the archives. But Henry Cooper will still be revered because his name will live on as a people's champion and a national treasure."
Sporting celebrities and friends of Sir Henry attended the private service at Corpus Christi Church in Lyons Crescent, Tonbridge. 1966 World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton was among them, the former Manchester United and England footballer saying Cooper would "always smile immediately when he saw you" and was "great company".
Supporters also turned out in their droves throughout the day, with Percy Battershill, 69, from Mitcham, describing Sir Henry as simply "the greatest".
"He could knock a man out with one punch. He didn't have to go 10 or 15 rounds, and on top of all of that, he was a gentleman," Battershill said. "He could walk with the crowds, talk with the kings and he never lost the common touch."
R.I.P Henry thanks for the memories.!!!
I have Henry Cooper defeating 7 ranked heavyweights (few Champions in any division do that) . And eight with Bodell!
10/14/58.....Zora Folley............#2.....W 10
01/12/59.....Brian London........#6.....W 15
11/17/59.....Joe Erskine...........#7....KO 12
02/06/61.....Alex Miteff............#7.....W 10
02/24/64.....Brian London.......#10....W 15
01/25/66.....Hubert Hilton.......#10....KO 2
11/10/70.....Jose Ibar Urtain....#8.....KO 9
03/24/70....Jack Bodell..........#10.....W 15
I remember as a youngster my uncle Vic, who lived in Enfield & took me to Spurs games, took me to see Henry training above the pub The Thomas aBeckett on the Old Kent Rd. He snuck me in & Henry looked over & said
"Allo Mate are you my new sparring partner" He was a real nice man
R.I.P. Our ' Enery !!
What a left hook he had! Excellent career.. Jobbed against Bugner, retired Mildenberger, almost KOd Clay who outweighed him by over 20lbs, 1-1 with Folley, beat Erskine twice.. probably weighed 185lbs dripping wet too.. great guy aswell..