Henry Cooper boxing belts to auction for $24,000 apiece?

A pair of silver gilt boxing belts, previously owned by Henry Cooper, "the gentleman of the ring" - who is rumoured to have died of a broken heart in 2011 following his wife's death in 2008 - are to go under the hammer at Bonhams Chester on February 20.

Both belts carry a £10,000-15,000 ($16,000-24,000) estimate ahead of the sale.

Henry Cooper Boxing belts to auction for $24,000 apiece?
The belt features an enamel portrait of Lord Lonsdale, who donated the original Lonsdale belts to boxing

Lot 24, a silver-gilt heavyweight Lonsdale Belt, was won by Cooper in 1962, 1963 and 1964, following victories against Joe Erskine, Dick Richardson and Brian London, respectively.

It is engraved: "This belt is the sole property of Henry Cooper who has won the heavyweight championship of Great Britain three times." Lot 23, a second heavyweight Lonsdale belt, was won by Cooper in 1965 and 1967. Both currently reside in a private collection having last appeared at Sotheby's in 1993.

Cooper's 1961 Lonsdale boxing belt sold at Bonhams London in May 2012 for £49,250 ($75,640) - suggesting there is a ready market for leading items from the much-loved boxer's starry career, such is Cooper's enduring popularity among fans of the sport.

Dan Davies, a sports memorabilia expert at Bonhams, commented in 2012: "'Our Enry' was a real gentleman, a hugely important characteristic in sport, which is sometimes overlooked in these times when theatre and drama appear to take precedence."

Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles we have a number of museum-grade sports collectibles in stock, including the autograph of former world heavyweight champion "The Boilermaker".

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