Henry Cooper vs. Cassius Clay 1963

Henry Cooper vs. Cassius Clay 1963 The late Sir Henry Cooper, popularly known as ‘Our ‘Enry’, was one of the most celebrated and successful British boxers since World War II. Cooper turned professional, at the age of 20, in 1954 and went on to enjoy a highly successful professional career; he never won a world title, but was British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion between 1959 and 1971 and European heavyweight champion between 1968 and 1971.

However, for all his success, Cooper is probably best remembered for his narrow, and controversial, defeat by 21-year-old Cassius Clay – soon to become Muhammad Ali – in a non-title fight at Wembely Stadium, London in June, 1963, which very nearly changed the course of boxing. Before the fight, Clay had brashly predicted, ‘It ain’t no jive, Henry Cooper will go in five!’

Nevertheless, towards the end of the fourth round, Cooper, 28, unleashed a trademark left hook – dubbed ”Enry’s ‘Ammer’ – which knocked Clay to the canvas for a count of four. When the bell sounded, Clay was sitting on the seat of his pants, back against the ropes, and had to be walked back to his stool by trainer Angelo Dundee. Dundee administered smelling salts before, apparently, discovering a split in Clay’s glove, which he brought to the attention of the referee Tommy Little.

According to Cooper, Dundee subsequently freely admitted, more than once, that he had deliberately slashed the glove to give Clay more time to recover between rounds. A replacement pair of gloves were fetched from the dressing room and, in the fifth round, a rejuvenated Clay set to work on slicing up Cooper’s already bloodied face; a heavily bleeding cut over his left eye left Cooper unable to see properly and the contest was stopped, with Clay winning by technical knockout.

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Anthony Joshua vs.Wladimir Klitschko 2017

Anthony Joshua vs.Wladimir Klitschko 2017 On April 29, 2017, reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua defended his title against former unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Kiltschko in front of 90,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium, London, with the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Organisation (IBO) heavyweight titles – both vacated, on medical grounds, by Tyson Fury the previous October – also at stake.

After a circumspect first four rounds, in the fifth round Joshua, 27, unleashed a flurry of punches, including a solid left hook, which sent Klitschko, face first to the canvas. To his credit, despite a heavily cut left eye, Klitschko, 41, rose quickly and, although he briefly looked in danger of being stopped, turned the tables on his opponent in the latter part of the round, landing a series of powerful punches. Indeed, in the second minute sixth round, Klitschko scored a knockdown of his own, felling Joshua with a devastating overhand right; Joshua, too, was on the verge of being stopped, but was able to recover as the fight played out.

In the eleventh round, Joshua delivered a vicious uppercut, which precipitated two further knockdowns and, ultimately, forced referee David Fields to intervene, with Klitschko pinned on the ropes and unable to defend himself. At the time of his victory, by technical knockout, Joshua led 96-93 and 95-93 on the scorecards of American judge Don Trella and Puerto Rican judge Nelson Vazquez, respectively, but trailed 93-95 on the scorecard of American judge Steve Weisfeld. Despite redeeming himself from a lacklustre performance against Tyson Fury, which cost him his three major belts, seventeen months earlier, and performing better ‘than most people thought he had in his entire career’, according to trainer Johnathon Banks, Klitschko announced his shock retirement from boxing, with immediate effect, in August, 2017.

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Mike Collins Four-second Knockout 1947

Mike Collins Four-second Knockout 1947 Former undisputed world heavyweight Mike Tyson, dubbed ‘The Baddest Man on The Planet’, was arguably the most devastating boxer ever seen. However, even Tyson needed more than a single punch to record the fastest victory of his professional career. Strictly speaking, his 30-second defeat of Marvis Frazier, son of Joe, in Glen Falls, New York in 1986 was by technical knockout, but after with an opening flurry of punches, including two powerful right uppercuts, Tyson literally knocked unconscious.

Although the veracity of the account has been questioned, in some quarters, according to Guinness World Records, the fastest victory in boxing history was recorded in the Minneapolis Golden Gloves, a regional amateur boxing competition, in Minnesota in 1947. The winner was Mike Collins and his opponent, albeit momentarily, was Pat Brownson.

Naturally left-handed, Collins apparently adopted a conventional posture, left foot and left hand forward, as the bell sounded to start the opening round, but quickly switched to a ‘southpaw’ posture, as normally favoured by sinister-handed boxers. Evidently the move perplexed Brownson; from what was effectively the ‘wrong’ side for his normal, orthodox opponent, Collins threw, and connected with, the first punch of the contest, a powerful left-hook that knocked Brownson to the canvas. Without even starting a count, the referee stopped the contest, handing Collins the verdict by technical knock-out after an elapsed time of just four seconds.