THE ROAD TO FISTIC FAME AND FORTUNE
Continued from page 10
on to fight Pierre Cossemyns of Belgium for the vacant European crown, but lost in the ninth round.
What is in store for the colourful little Irishman? It has been announced from his training camp that Freddie has weight worries. Only one thing is certain, if Freddie goes through with his postponed defence of his titles against Scot Billy Rafferty and is successful, an effort will be made to match him with fellow townsman John Caldwell for the World Crown.
If, on the other hand. Freddie should lose his titles to Billy Rafferty, everyone will say immediately that Gilroy should retire, pointing out that boxing has been good to Gilroy. All 1 can say in i answer to that is, "And Gilroy has been good for boxing ".
HENRY COOPER is, as most boxing followers know, an identical twin. In fact he and his brother George are so alike that it is said that only their manager Jim Wicks can tell them apart.
Twice, Henry won the Army and Inter-Services Cruiserweight title and in 1952 and 1953 he won the A.B.A. title at the same weight. He represented Britain in the Olympic Games in Helsinki in 1952, but lost to a Russian in the second series.
He turned professional in 1954. and when twin brother George applied for his license in the same year, he was requested to change his Christian name as there was another George Cooper boxing at that time. So George became Jim, and Jim it has been since.
Both boys made their professional debuts on the same bill, both won, and the name of Jim's opponent is very interesting—Dick Richardson, the present European Heavyweight Champion.
Over the year, Jim has not been as active as Henry. due mainly to his tendency to cut easily around the eyes.
Henry, although he is now at the top of the tree, has had a rocky road to fame. It was not until his meeting with the same Dick Richardson, that Henry blossomed into a real challenger for higher honours. His fight with Richardson proved his moment of truth. He found himself dumped very unceremoniously on the canvas suffering from cuts around the eyes. Undeterred he rose to poleaxe Richardson, and since that moment has not felt the bitter taste of defeat.
He has now numbered among his victims Zora Polley, Alex Miteff, Roy Harris, Gawie de Clerk, Joe Erskine (twice for good measure) and Brian London.
Henry can't wait to get into the ring with the champion, and one thing is certain, when they eventually meet, as they must do, Henry will have every boxing fan in Britain rooting for him, and cheering him on to do what no Britisher has done for many. many years -win the World Heavyweight Title.
OCTOBER this year saw a dream come true for Glasgow middleweight John (Cowboy) McCormack, when he won the European title by beating Dutchman Harko Kokmeyer in London.
When I spoke to John on his return to Glasgow he told me be
intends to cash in on his title by defending it as often as possible.
I heartily applaud this statement from John as only by fighting and beating the top men in Europe will he realise his ambition, a rubber match with World Champion Terry Downes.
John won several youth titles. He boxed for only one full season as a Senior, and yet during that time he won the British LightMiddleweight title, and represented Britain at the Olympic Games at Melbourne, where he won a bronze medal.
After the Olympics he turned professional; since when he has lost only three fights out of 35. The men who have beaten him arc Jimmy Lynas, Gustav Scholtz, and Terry Downes.
John has been signed to defend his titles against German Heini Freytag, in Germany, and after that he hopes to keep very active in his quest for a third meeting with World Champ Downes, and if that comes about, who knows. Scotland may yet have a World Champion.
TWENTY-THREE years ago in the North of England, there was born to a Mr, and Mrs. Michael Cullen, a son who was called Maurice. Today, he is the number two contender for the British Lightweight title held by Dave Charnley.
Boxing has been the lifelong love of young Maurice, his father was a well-known boxer in his time, and elder brother. Terry. was also a professional of no mean ability.
After he retired, Terry devoted his time to training and managing Maurice. A tribute to his skill is Maurice's high ranking in the list of contenders.
Since turning professional in 1959, Maurice has Lost only one contest, a hotly disputed decision to Irishman Spike McCormick, in the National Sporting Club, in London.
He has boxed two draws with Ricky Kiernan, and Ebe Mensah, both of whom he later defeated.
One of his hardest contests so far was with Scottish Champion Jimmy Gibson, whom he beat on points. Jimmy is striving after a return but so far nothing has been arranged.
In the year before bim Maurice hopes to clinch a title tilt with Dave Charnley, and so attempt to take the British title north, to Shotton, Co. Durham.