Ali Trophy returns to scene of Greatest’s most memorable London trip | World Boxing Super Series
Ali Trophy returns to scene of Greatest’s most memorable London trip

Ali Trophy returns to scene of Greatest’s most memorable London trip

25th, October 2019

The Ali Trophy visited Highbury earlier this week, the scene of Muhammad Ali vs. Henry Cooper in 1966.

During his outstanding career, Ali boxed three times in London — at Wembley, Highbury and Earl’s Court — with two of those fights against British hero Henry Cooper.

The first vs Cooper took place at Wembley Stadium on June 18, 1963 in front of 35,000 spectators with the ref stopping the bout in round 5 in the famous American’s favour. The second came about three years later at Highbury, the former home of Arsenal Football Club.

The fight for the WBA & WBC heavyweight world titles held the record for the largest live audience at a British boxing event with 46,000 people packed into the stands and on the pitch.

Cooper believed he could upset Ali, after scoring a rare knockdown of ‘The Greatest’ in their first encounter, but in the sixth round, the fight was stopped due to a cut over Cooper’s eye.

Tomorrow at The O2 in London Muhammad Ali’s legacy lives on as Regis Prograis (24-0, 20 KOs) and Josh Taylor (15-0, 12 KOs) battle it out for a trophy in honour of one of the world’s greatest sporting figures in the WBSS Super-Lightweight Final.

“Ali being our ambassador is the greatest honour of all time,” said Kalle Sauerland, Chief Boxing Officer of the WBSS. “And I’m very honoured to see these great athletes questing for the greatest prize in boxing. The winner of the Ali Trophy will be the best man in the division, the man to beat just like we saw with Aleksandr Usyk and Callum Smith in Season I of the WBSS.”

New Orleans native Regis Prograis made the trip from the USA to London as Ali did decades ago. On several occasions, the ‘Rougarou’ has expressed his admiration for Ali describing him as a ‘Boxing God’ and told about his desire to take home the coveted trophy.

“It would mean everything to me to win this tournament,” told the tournament No. 1 seed at Thursday’s final press conference. “To be where I am now is through hard work and believing myself. It will mean everything to win the trophy and unify the titles. To prove I’m the best.“

At stake on Saturday:

WBSS Super-Lightweight Ali Trophy Final with the WBA, IBF & Ring Magazine World titles on the line.

About the Muhammad Ali Trophy:

Muhammad Ali gave his blessings to the WBSS and agreed to give his name to its prize, The Muhammad Ali Trophy. The trophy was created by the late world-renowned artist Silvio Gazzaniga who also designed the iconic FIFA World Cup Trophy.

Ali Trophy winners:

2018: Aleksandr Usyk (Cruiserweight), Callum Smith (Super Middleweight).