Henry Cooper's Cassius Clay gloves to exceed $72,000?

The gloves English boxer Henry Cooper wore in his legendary bout against Cassius Clay in 1963 are to sell at Graham Budd Auctions.

The bout was only the second time that Clay (soon to become Muhammad Ali) was knocked to the mat in a professional match.

Henry Cooper gloves
Henry Cooper was a much-loved English boxer 

The auction house explains: "In the final moments of the fourth round Cooper famously dropped Clay with his trademark left hook, known as 'Enry's 'Ammer'.

"Unfortunately for Cooper, his opponent's armpit caught in the ropes going down, which prevented his head from striking the canvas covered boards which made up the floor of the ring (something which could easily have knocked him unconscious)."

Clay was given smelling salts (in breach of British rules).

Clay's manager later explained that he also opened a slit in his gloves and called for new ones.

This gave Clay a precious few extra seconds out of the fray.

He recovered enough to deal Cooper a solid blow above the right eye that induced such spectacular bleeding that the match was ended and Clay declared the winner.

The gloves were kept in the gym Cooper trained in and later sold to the Sunday Express, which offered them as a competition prize. Cooper personally presented them to to the winner.

A plaque describes them as "the gloves that did not split".

The lot is expected to make £40,000-50,000 ($57,241-71,551) when it crosses the block in London on April 25.

Gloves associated with Ali have sold well in the past, with the pair he wore in the legendary "phantom punch" bout against Joe Frazier making $836,500 last year.

We have a phenomenal Muhammad Ali training bag for sale.

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