Former Heavyweight boxer Henry Cooper dies aged 76

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Sir Henry Cooper
London, May 02: Sir Henry Cooper, the former heavyweight boxer best known for knocking down the legendary Muhammad Ali in his prime, died on May 01. The British boxer aged 76 was two days short of his 77th birthday.

Cooper, also the first boxer to be knighted and receive the title 'Sir', died at his son's house in Oxted, Surrey, in southern England, after a prolonged illness.

Muhammad Ali, who was famously knocked down by Cooper during a 1963 non-title fight at the Wembley Stadium, in a statement condoling the death of the boxer said, "I am at a loss for words over the death of my friend, Henry Cooper...Henry always had a smile for me; a warm and embracing smile," Ali said. "It was always a pleasure being in Henry's company. I will miss my ole friend. He was a great fighter and a gentleman. My family and I extend our heartfelt sympathies to his family and loved ones."

Cooper was the winner of British, European and Commonwealth heavyweight titles but surprisingly never won a World Crown. In a professional career that spanned more than 16 years he had an enviable record of 40-14-1.

He retired from professional boxing in 1971 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the year 2000.

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