Sir Henry Cooper SIGNED (silver sharpie) and INSCRIBED "Best Wishes" black & white photo after flooring then Cassius Clay with his trade mark left hook known as "ENRYS AMMER." Measuring 8 1/4" x 5 3/4".
Price: £ SOLD
Henry Cooper vs Cassius Clay I - 18th June 1963
Sir Henry Cooper OBE KSG, former European and British and Commonwealth heavyweight boxing champion, was born in London on 3 May 1934, the elder (by 20 minutes) of twins.
He and his twin brother George grew up in Bellingham, South London, and were keen all-round sportsmen at school before turning exclusively to amateur boxing.
In 84 amateur bouts, Sir Henry won 73 and lost 11. He won his first title in 1952 when he was 17 - the Amateur Boxing Association light-heavyweight championship - and also represented Great Britain at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki.
Sir Henry continued to develop his boxing prowess during his national service when, as a private in 4 Battalion, Royal Army Ordnance Corps (nicknamed The Boxers' Battalion), he had the distinction of knocking out his company sergeant-major!
Before turning professional together in 1954 under Jim Wicks, the twins worked at Sydenham Gas Works in South London and then went into the plastering trade, where they continued working between fights and training.
In a career spanning 17 years, Sir Henry fought 55 times, winning 40 of his matches, many of them inside the distance.
Winning the British and Empire heavyweight titles in 1959, Sir Henry defended them successfully many times in the following years and stayed British champion for over 12 years, becoming the only heavyweight to win the coveted Lonsdale belt outright. Additionally, he took the British Empire heavyweight title in 1959, the European title in 1964 and 1968, and the British and Commonwealth titles in 1970.
Sir Henry's main weapon was his left hook. It was this punch which gained him the distinction of being the first man to put Cassius Clay on the floor just before he became World champion. He subsequently fought Clay again unsuccessfully for the World title. Sir Henry's left hook, nicknamed 'Henry's Hammer', travelled 15 times faster than a Saturn V rocket, and its force on landing was nearly 3 tons.
Sir Henry has always believed that some element of physical danger is necessary in most lives. "The human being just wasn't built as a vegetable," he says in his autobiography. "There is a tendency now to an over-protective society. If there is a danger in anything some people want to ban it - you mustn't box, you mustn't climb mountains, you mustn't race fast cars. Nothing would have been achieved in the World if there wasn't a determination to beat an element of danger or challenge." He emphasises that risk-taking should be a calculated business - no boxer, he says, will be seriously injured if he goes into the ring properly matched, fit and trained up.
In 1960 Sir Henry married Albina Genepri, and they have two sons in their 20's, Henry Marco and John Pietro. He remains very much in the public eye, making numerous personal appearances, not only in the UK but throughout the World, in the course of his charitable and promotional work for commercial organisations using his huge popularity to endorse their products. One long-standing and particularly successful association has been with Cooper Tools who, to mention just one example, have been able to make good use of the 'Henry's Hammer' label for their Plumb brand of striking tools.
Sir Henry has commentated upon many major boxing events for the British Broadcasting Corporation (including the Bruno v Tyson match in February 1989); he presented the Channel 4 TV series Be Your Own Boss, and appeared in the 1975 film Royal Flash. He is also the author of Henry Cooper: An Autobiography (1972), The Great Heavyweights (1978), and Henry Cooper's Book of Boxing (1982).
In his free time Sir Henry now keeps himself in trim by playing golf regularly, and combines this with a great interest in charity fund-raising through his chairmanship of the Variety Club of Great Britain's golf society, helping the club to raise £250,000 each year.