The life and times of Henry Cooper

This article first appeared on BritishVintageBoxing.com

Two minutes into the opening round of Henry Cooper’s first fight with Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay, the proud Englishman snorts hard and draws deeply, he is beyond Clay’s reach and permits himself a momentary pause. He knows he has started strongly. His eyes narrow, focussed on the American quarry before him, his nostrils flaring wide as he sucks air from the cool London night. His pale chest heaves.

Thin black leather shoes mold tight to his feet, glistening like wet paint. They slide and sweep, hop and reset to the doctrine of boxing, those strangest of dance steps. Cooper’s body is taut, narrow and sinewy, his gloves small and almost cuff less. Thinning hair is cropped short, pointing skyward, exaggerating the urgency of his actions. Battleship grey eyes glare from the shadows of a chiselled brow above. A wedge of protruding bone that juts forward, straining skin and tissue. It is a genetic anomaly that has betrayed him before and would again, in countless wars as yet unfought.

Continue reading “The life and times of Henry Cooper”

Audley, Audley, Audley

Love him, hate him, ignore him, beat him, write him off, mock him, chastise him, heck, tie an anvil to each ankle and drop him in the Thames. It wouldn’t matter, Big Audley would still be believing, still fighting, still chasing the dream. I’m beginning to think Harrison has special powers, the hide of a Rhino, the defiance of the Black Knight and will of Arnie’s Terminator.  Despite being jeered to and from the ring, despite failing to overwhelm a man he outweighed by 3 stone and despite the proximity of his 37th birthday, Audley will not give up. Continue reading “Audley, Audley, Audley”

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: