… “Our ‘Enry”… Sir Henry Cooper, boxer, sportsman, and gentleman…

…it is a sad reflection on the sport of boxing that current promoters rejoice in a routine, prematch buildup that revolves around unseemly televised scenes of the protagonists eyeballing each other, nose-tip to nose-tip, like a pair of feral badgers… add in the participants’ often screaming, pejorative, goading insults slung at their opponents, who by the way, are usually helping both of them to garner immense financial pickings… of course, one doesn’t expect a refined, polite ‘after-you,-Claude’ parcel of niceties… these are fighters, after all…

…however, hark back several decades to Britain’s Henry Cooper, whose bouts included the famous match with the then Cassius Clay, later to be restyled, Muhammed Ali… these guys slugged the hell out of each other in the ring, but there was always a sense of mutual respect, even allowing for Ali‘s hugely entertaining ‘I’ll-name-that-knockout-round’ predictions… like most fighters in those days, and prob’ly even today, Henry came from humble beginnings, his from Lambeth in London… he was the hero and idol for millions in the UK… the epitome of the ‘local-boy-made-good’… he never, ever lost the common touch, the ability to reach out to his fans, as a gentleman… I recall watching on black and white television the first of the encounters, at Wembley, with Ali… the one with the infamous ‘cut gloves’ which delayed the start of the fifth round after Henry had smacked Ali to the floor in the fourth…

…to his eternal credit, Cooper claimed the delay was only a matter of seconds and was not a contributory factor to his eventual loss on a technical knockout due to his cut eye… in retirement, Cooper became a much sought-after commentator and sports program contributor… the adulation from the public resulted in two BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, and he was the first boxer to receive a Knighthood… it would be nice, although totally improbable, if every ‘big-bout’ boxer lined up to fight was shown tapes of Henry and learned how to behave… Our ‘Enry”… Sir Henry Cooper, boxer, sportsman, and gentleman… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

2 responses to “… “Our ‘Enry”… Sir Henry Cooper, boxer, sportsman, and gentleman…

  1. All this shouting and calling names has become a joke. It seems the coarser the better. What a shame. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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