Thursday, 5 May 2011

Those Radio Times: Henry Cooper 1934 - 2011

Sportsnight With Coleman - November 11th 1970
The passing of Sir Henry Cooper last weekend was a sad moment for anyone with an interest in sport.

Sir Henry was a lot more than a boxing legend.

He always came across as a true gentleman in his TV appearances and continued to be loved by the British Public for years after retiring from boxing be it advertising in the famous Brut aftershave adverts or appearing on A Question Of Sport.

Of course his most famous moment was undoubtedly knocking down Cassius Clay on June 18th 1963, however; that was only one of many successes. His last was regaining his European title on Tuesday November 10th 1970 with a ninth round TKO victory over Spain's Jose Manuel Urtain at Wembley's Empire Pool, London.

The build up to this particular fight was covered in  Radio Times (Dated: 5 November 1970) when promoter Harry Levene revealed the fight was the toughest bout of his career to get staged in England as Urtain had messed him about more than any boxer before.  Urtain had been labelled the worst and luckiest boxer to be king of Europe's Heavyweights. 

Ron Wills Radio Times article promised 27 year old  Urtain was in for a hiding now class fighter Henry Cooper had caught up with him. He wasn't wrong!

The Big Fight went out live on BBC Radio 1 and 2 on November 10 at 9.30pm with commentary by Simon Smith from the ringside and inter round summaries by Fred Verlander.

The fight was shown on BBC 1 the following night on
Sportsnight with Coleman at 9.20pm in Colour, this time with commentary by Harry Carpenter.

As a small tribute to Henry Cooper, I've included the feature that accompanied this fight from Radio Times dated November 5 1970.

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