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Boxing World Mourns the loss of Sir Henry Cooper
Posted May 04, 2011 by Chris White
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The boxing world was stunned this week with news of the death of Sir Henry Cooper at the age of 76. The former British, Commonwealth and European Heavyweight Champion passed away at his son's house, just days before his 77th birthday.
'Our Enry' is remembered most for his two fights with the then Cassius Clay in the 1960s, the first of which on 18th June 1963 saw 'Enry's Ammer' put Clay onto the ropes before eventually losing the fight. Clay's next fight was against Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston, who he defeated.
When Clay and Cooper fought next, two years later, Clay had changed his name to Muhammad Ali and beat Cooper again to retain his World Championship.
Cooper could have changed sporting history if only Clay had hit the canvas rather than the ropes.
On hearing the news of Cooper's death, Ali said, "I will miss my old friend. He was a great fighter and a gentleman. It was always a pleasure to be in his company."
Cooper had an overall record of 40 victories, 27 by knock out, 14 defeats and 1 draw, and was knighted in 2000 for his services to boxing. He was also awarded the BBCs Sports Personality of the Year awards in 1967 and 1970.
David Haye, the current WBA World Heavyweight Champion said on social networking site Twitter, "One of Britain's greatest sportsmen, Sir Henry Cooper, passed away today. A true warrior and a great human being. Rest in peace."
On interview, Haye added, "We'd talk to each other and he'd give me his opinion, good or bad, and whether I wanted it or not! He would give me sound advice too, advice that is obviously working as I'm now the Heavyweight Champion."
Barry McGuigan said, "He was a lovely fella, and I was a personal friend of him and his wife. It is tragic news for the boxing world. What a great man."
Rest in Peace Sir Henry. A true British sporting legend.