- A Sir Henry Cooper signed programme for his 1966 World Heavyweight Championship fight against Muhammad Ali
In 1963, British boxer Sir Henry Cooper (1934-2011) took on Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) in a non-title fight in London. While he lost to Technical Knockout, with his patented left hook (‘Enry’s Ammer) Cooper became one of only four fighters ever to knock Ali down in the ring.
This is a programme (8.3 x 10.9 inches) for the much anticipated Ali-Cooper World Heavyweight Championship bout at the Arsenal Stadium in London on May 21, 1966.
Henry Cooper has signed on his portrait inside the booklet, where he’s billed as “British and Empire champion”.
Ali was famously dismissive of all his opponents, but after his first fight with Cooper he said: “He's the toughest fighter I ever met and the first to really drop me. He's a real fighter." The two became great friends.
The second fight ended the same as the first, with Cooper losing to Total Knockout due to a serious cut over his eye. Cooper was unable to deal Ali any real damage. He later said: “I still had the style that could upset him.
“But I must say that he's a quick learner, Ali. The second fight he learned. He would stand no nonsense.”
This is an exceptional piece of boxing history with fabulous period appeal.
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