GOTR 1: Scenes 6-11

Scene 6

Comiskey Park, Chicago – Floyd Patterson is defending his World Heavyweight title against Charles ‘Sonny’ Liston

Chris Schenkel
Welcome to Comiskey Park, Chicago
This is Chris Schenkel, your night’s sportscaster
At the site of the most lucrative fight
In the entire history of boxing –
Twenty-seven-year old, Floyd Patterson
Defends the Heavyweight Championship
Of the World against twenty-eight year old
Sonny Liston… he is the favourite
Of those who make the odds, as in the rings
He sweeps his massive frame, he’s the winner
Of thirty-three of his thirty four fights
Of these, twenty-three have been by knock-out
He’s the most formidable challenger
The champion has ever met, who now
Enters the ring most calm, sentimental
Favourite, Floyd Patterson, the winner
Of thirty-eight of his forty pro fights,
Twenty-nine by knock-out, the youngest man
To ever win the title, only man
To win that title twice, the place is pack’d;
More than six hundred sportscasters are here
To see if Patterson’s speed can offset
Liston’s power, as by the ringside sit
Those who to obtain the answer have all paid
One hundred dollars each, a mighty price
Unheard of in the annals of our age

It’s fifteen rounds for the World Heavyweight
Boxing title – weighing in two fourteen
Pounds, & wearing the white & yellow trunks,
From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sonny Liston
{boos from the crowd}
& weighing one-eight-nine
Pounds, wearing black & white trunks, from Yonkers
New York, the world Heavyweight Champion
Floyd Patterson – & the referee
Frank Sikora will now give instructions

Frank Sikora
Now, both you boys received your instructions
Offa the Illinois State Athletic
Commission – I am here to enforce them
I wanna clean break at all times, & want
No rabbit punching or kidney punching,
Be careful of your low blows they may cost
You a round, & in the case of knock-downs
I want you to go to your first corner
& stay there ‘til I tell you to come out
Fighting – also, in case of a knock-down
You must take an eight-count, that understood
Any questions… shake hands… come out fighting
& the best of luck to the both of you

Chris Schenkel
The massive challenger’s twenty-five pounds
Heavier than the champion, & has
A thirteen-inch advantage at the reach
The champion’s restless in his corner
& the challenger’s as placid as peace…
Sonny Liston moves out to face the big
Chance of the twenty-eight years of a life
Most turbulent, Patterson’s plan must be
To get inside the challenger’s long jab
& work upon the body… now Liston’s
Heavy jabs are bothering Patterson

Frank Sikora
Alright, alright, break it up boys, step out

Chris Schenkel
Patterson’s bob-bobbing & weaving makes
Liston miss often, negating the blows

Frank Sikora
Alright, alright break it up boys, come on

Chris Schenkel
That Liston hook to the head was the first
Good punch of the fight, as the challenger
Is moving in, the champion must shake
Away the effects from that deft left hook…
A left, a grazing right & a solid left
To the cheekbone have dropp’d the champion

Frank Sikora
{waves the fight over}
That’s it

Chris Schenkel
Sonny Liston’s not a notably swift
Nor flash hitter, but that final left hook,
Crash’d into Patterson’s cheek like a rig
Of diesel going downhill, with no brakes
There are no fighters extant, & precious
Few mammals of any variety,
That could have ever beaten that ten count –
& the miracle is that Patterson
Was ever able to get to his knees!

Liston comes & hugs Patterson / Willie Radish & Jack Nylon enter the ring

Chris Schenkel
So, the fight is over, after only
Two minutes & sixteen seconds, Liston
Is now the new Heavyweight Champion
Of the World, his trainer, Willie Radish,
& manager, Jack Nylon celebrate
With their new champion
{Liston is given the belt}
Around Sonny
Liston, now, the twenty-first Heavyweight
Champion of the World, jubilation
For the ex-champion, consolation

Cassius Clay appears at the ring causing a kerfuffle

Cassius Clay
Hey, Liston, you big ugly bear, Liston
You aint no champ, I’m the real champion
I’ll fight you right now, let me in that ring

The Police stop Cassius Clay getting in the ring – Liston walks over with his belt & points to it

Sonny Liston
Cassius, this something that you aint
Ever gone get, you won’t last as long
As Patterson, your ass I’m gonna beat
Just like I was your daddy

Cassius Clay
Let me go
I wanna beat up this Big Ugly Bear
Right now – you ain’t great, I’ll beat you in eight

Somebody get that big mouth outta here

Cassius Clay
{being led away}
Don’t you see, he’s a fraud, I’m the greatest
He’s got my title, he’s not the real champ

Liston shakes his head & holds his belt up to a mixture of cheers & boos

Scene 7

Enter Malcolm X & Herbert Muhammad

Herbert Muhammad
That was a speech of deep erudition
& consummate insight, my father shall hear
Of how thy words engorge our cause with flame

Malcolm X
Thank-you, my brother – I feel your father
With me as I speak, my words are his words

There is a knock on the door – a guard opens it / enter Ishmael Sabakhan with Cassius Clay

Ishmael Sabakhan
Salaim alakum

Malcolm X & Herbert Muhammad
Salaim alakum

Ishmael Sabakhan
Brothers, this is Brother Cassius

Cassius Clay

Malcolm X

Cassius Clay
It’s good to be here, your speech was

Herbert Muhammad
Full of truth

Cassius Clay
Yeah, inspiring

Malcolm X
So, young man
What are you doing here in Chicago

Cassius Clay
I was at the Liston, Patterson fight

Malcolm X
Ah boxing

Herbert Muhammad
My father does not approve
Of such competitive brutality

Ishmael Sabakhan
Brother Cassius, this man is Jabir
Herbert Muhammad, son of Elijah
Muhammad, the leader of our Nation

Cassius Clay
It is an honour, sir, I feel at peace
With the brotherhood, these are early days
I have got a lot to learn, but want to,
My thoughts are submarines that dive too deep
& cannot see the waters where they move
I need a clearer window to the soul
Want to learn all I can about Islam
I want to be Moslem, I hear the call
Especially in such a precious context
As that which gives a Black Man back his rights
In this racist nation of enslavement

Malcolm X
Thou art an eloquent elemental
Who speaks with wisdom learn’d before thy years
You heard my speech

Cassius Clay
I did

Cassius Clay
What resonates

Cassius Clay
Well, when you said there was the good nigger,
& then there was the bad nigger, but now
A third, well, negro has truly arriv’d
From the negro reservation ghettos
The Nation of Islam has broken free
Beaming its big black pride, how such progress
From holy Elijah Muhhamad comes
For he is truth, & how is followers
Are cleantest, healthiest americans
Who pray each day to God, eat wholesome meals
Don’t sin or drink or fornicate
In this land of out-dated oppression
The one who is proud to be black

Herbert Muhammad
& you
Are you proud to be black, brother

Cassius Clay
I am

Herbert Muhammad
Good, we will need such confidence
When deconstructing the constitutions
Erected by the White Man in this world
Where Mary’s little lamb had a white fleece
Where Tarzan’s the white king of the jungle
Where the President lives in the White House
Where Miss America is always white
Where Christian supremacist notions
Rage rampant, Santa & Jesus are white

Malcolm X
Jesus is, really olive skinn’d Jew
But is portray’d like an Anglo-Saxon
That’s brainwashing – & after Santa Claus –
The biggest lie ever told children

Ishmael Sabakhan
Even Father Christmas is a white man
& all the angels in Heaven are white –
But, we are black, we brothers & sisters
Of the Nation of Islam, who don’t run
In fear of our colour, collated by
This special religion for the black man
Within whose world you’d very welcome be

Cassius Clay
I feel a strong & familial bond
With thee, as if I’d always known I was
A follower of Islam

Malcolm X
I’ll give you a gift, Brother Cassius –
This is the Qu’ran, contains the wisdom
Reveal’d some thirteen centuries ago
To the Prophet Muhammad, by Allah

Herbert Muhammad
Sithen, the truth has emanated far,
One billion upon the Planet Earth
Press this book’s sacred scriptures to their souls

Cassius Clay
Thank-you, I will nurture myself, nourish
My spirit, & mould my better being

Malcolm X
You must believe in yourself, good brother
Stand squarely on both feet, raise shoulders back
Don’t let anyone exploit your talents
& in this organisation you will find
Direction, & support from family
Who’ll love you with a loyalty untold.

Cassius Clay
This is, this is, this is, I cannot say
What all this is, rebirth profound, perhaps,
Yes, I do sense, I am different now

Malcolm X
Come, brother, let us all embrace as one


Herbert, Malcom X, Ishmael & Cassius Clay embrace

Scene 8

Miami / Cassius Clay is in the park, running thro some aerobics

Bundini Brown
Sweet-sweet tomato, hot-hot potato
Cassius, Cassius, Cassius Clay
Is that you

Cassius Clay
Whaddaya want

Bundini Brown
It is you
Man, you’ve been hard to track down

Cassius Clay
What’s up

Bundini Brown
Well, I would like to introduce myself
Some call me Fast Black & some Daddy Slack
But mostly I’m Brown, Drew Bundini Brown
& you’re gonna need me in your corner

Cassius Clay
Say what?

Bundini Brown
I want to be your motivator
Your inspiration, your court’s own jester
I will be like Dumbo’s good luck feather
I’m a poet of the streets, I’m a source
Of energy on which you can fibres fee
Imagine your entourage is a cake
With flour made, & eggs & sugar too
I’ll be that little bit of brown sugar
To give it that extra taste & I’ll give you
What nobody else will

Cassius Clay
& what is that

Bundini Brown
The truth – all the others
Are gonna try to please you just to keep
Their jobs, if you’ve got your laces undone
They’ll say man it’s cool you don’t tie your shoes
While I’ll say, man you are an idiot
Tie your shoes or you’ll trip & break your head

Cassius Clay
My-my-my – aint you the confident one
Credentials, you got any

Bundini Brown
I sure do
I’ve been in the corners of Archie Moore
Sonny Banks & Sugar Ray Robinson
& now I’ll work for you, I shall illume
Thee with all my locust hungry energy
Every punch you throw, I will throw that punch
Every hit you take – I will take that hit
I’m gonna know what ya are gonna do
Before even you know what ya gon’ do
I’m Drew Bundini African genie
{hiding behind a pillar}
& sometimes I will simply disappear
Then reappear before your very eyes

Cassius Clay
A sorcerer, then, huh

Bundini Brown
Yep, sir, that’s me
Just watch these fingers hypnotise your mind
You are gonna float like a butterfly
Sting like a bee, rumble, young man, rumble


I’m the one true, Drew Bundini,
Magical as Egyptian genie
Conj’ring girls in their blue bikinis
Or red if you like the colour

As into the ring you’ve put your fist in
Punching like a pneumatic piston
Next up’s big bad Sonny Liston
You’re gonna need my help boy

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Rumble, young man, rumble
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Rumble, young man, rumble

Yes, I’m the one true Daddy Slack
My destiny made tracks on a blow back
Deadlier than a diamondback
We’ll tag them like a viper

Let’s curl those babies into bunches
Jabs & hooks & sucker crunches
Into batter’d bones go punches
Pin-point as a sniper

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Rumble, young man, rumble

Cassius Clay
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Where dya get that from

Bundini Brown
My mind, right in there

Cassius Clay
Hey, you know I’m not fighting Liston next

Bundini Brown

Cassius Clay
No, it’s gonna be Henry Cooper

Bundini Brown
The Englishman

Cassius Clay
Yeah, that’s right

Bundini Brown
Where’s the fight

Cassius Clay
No, London

Bundini Brown
London, jeesh

Cassius Clay
Hey, have you got a passport

Bundini Brown
What, do I?

Cassius Clay

Bundini Brown

Cassius Clay
Well, you’re gonna need one

Bundini Brown
Whatcha mean

Cassius Clay
You’re coming to London with me

Bundini Brown
I am

Cassius Clay
Yeah, welcome to my team

Bundini Brown
Ah, Cassius,
You aint gonna regret this, I promise

Cassius Clay
I’d better not, say, what ya doing now

Bundini Brown
Nothing much

Cassius Clay
Well, let’s go down to the gym

Bundini Brown

Cassius Clay
You’re gonna have to meet Angelo

Bundini Brown
Angelo Dundee

Cassius Clay
Yep, he’s my trainer

Bundini Brown
He’s a damn good one, too

Cassius Clay
I know he is
So, let’s go, where are you from anyway
{they begin to exit}

Bundini Brown
Not too far away, I’s rais’d in Sanford

Cassius Clay
I love Florida, you were lucky
I’m Kentucky born & bred, them winters
Sure are cold

Bundini Brown
We all need sun in our lives
So, Cassius, all this bragging business
Jibbering your jaw like that, why do it

Cassius Clay
It’s not bragging if you can back it up

Exit Cassius Clay & Bundini Brown laughing

Scene 9

London – Sheekey’s Fish restaurant – Henry Cooper & the Kray twins are eating a meal

Reggie Kray
Nice bit o’ tucker this Henry, nice one

Ronnie Kray
It is that
These oysters are lovely mate

Reggie Kray
I’m loving the bubbly, n’all,

Ronnie Kray
Me too

Reggie Kray
What is it

Henry Cooper
Its call’d Krug, from Reims in France

Reggie Kray
Tasty, very, very tasty, cheers boys

They toast

Ronnie Kray
So, Henry, how’d ya know about this place

Henry Cooper
Me & the missus come here once a week
At least

Ronnie Kray
She Italian

Henry Cooper
She is, yeah

Ronnie Kray
How did you meet her then

Henry Cooper
At her work
Her fam’ly set up a restaurant
There’s not a lot o’ work out where she’s from
So, she came to London when she were sixteen
I used to go in & eat there, one day
I ask’d her out, she thought I was kidding
But I weren’t, & I soon won her over

Reggie Kray
What’s her name, then

Henry Cooper

Reggie Kray
Ah, lovely

Ronnie Kray
So, Henry, ‘ow yer feelin’ ‘bout the fight
This Cassius Clay geezer, what’s he like

Reggie Kray
Well, from what I’ve seen, he can’t keep still

Henry Cooper
The man’s continuously on the move
He’s also tall, owns the game’s longest reach
But if I can him in a corner
I’ll trap him, then jab him, jerk back his head
Then bring him down with a lovely left hook
Just gotta catch him early in the round
To make sure, if he stands, he’ll be groggy

Ronnie Kray
That’s all well & good, Henry, but for me
All you’ll need to do is land one good punch
Aint no man alive who could withstand that

Henry Cooper
I’m gonna call it the lip-buttoner
Shut the kid up – I mean, he can’t half talk

Reggie Kray
Looking forward to, half Bethnal Green
‘ll be at Wembley, quite the occasion

Ronnie Kray
Fifty-five thousand punters for one fight
Its more than you would get down Upton Park

Reggie Kray
Well, the ‘ammers aint exactly shaking
The Football League to its boots, eh, Ronnie

Ronnie Kray
You know what I mean, Reggie – don’t blame ‘em
What an exciting prospect, best boxer
England has produced for years, against, well
A very interesting young geezer

Reggie Kray
Henry, you worried about his talking
Don’t half rattle on, like, cocky with it
He thinks he’s gonna have ya

Henry Cooper
Not at all
Let him talk, I’m on the gate, the tickets
Are flying out the kiosks, I’ll do well
Out of this, I can tell, legal n’all

Ronnie Kray
Making legal money aint much fun, tho
Aint that right Reggie?

Reggie Kray
It sure is Ronnie
Tell me samfink you’ve seen Henry four times

Ronnie Kray
I have, yeah

Reggie Kray
I’ve only seen him the once
Yeah, it was a German fella, I think
Schoeppner, that was it, yeah, Eric, Schoeppner
Bit flashy, but he look’d pretty useful

Henry Cooper
I remember the fight very clearly
By the fourth & fifth he was getting tired
& I came on in a proper bundle
In the 6th I’m rally belting him nah
Spark’d him clean out with a massive left hook

Ronnie Kray
Was he not carried out on a stretcher

Henry Cooper
He was, mate, in hospital for five weeks
Poor lad

Reggie Kray
What about that Sonny Liston
Fancy a crack at ‘im

Henry Cooper
Well, the winner
Of Saturday’s contest will take him on
I was offer’d the guy in fifty -eight
Floyd Patterson was the champ at the time
Liston was ninth contender, I was fifth
Jim Norris of the WBA
Says to me if I was offer’d Liston, turn him down
The guy’s an animal, & so it prov’d

Reggie Kray
What about if you had to fight ‘im nah

Henry Cooper
I think I’m the better fighter than him
Technically, anyway, it would be tight

Reggie Kray
I’ll tell you why I likes brash Cassius,
The way he calls the rounds, that’s funny shit
Whazzit – if that man jive he’ll fall in five
If, if, he… jives some more he’ll fall in four

I like a bit of poetry
The sign of a sophisticated man
I mean, on top of my Arnold & Keats
I likes a bit of classical Callas
& the biography of Genghiz Khan
I can quote in my kip, read it tons

Henry Cooper
It’s gonna be quite a clash of styles, this lads,
Y’know, the American boxing style
Versus, well, the British;

Reggie Kray
Tell us, Henry,
Is there such a thing, British Boxing style

Henry Cooper
Yeah, I’d say so, most British boxers box
Rather than punch, punchers are like poets
They’re born, not made – you can’t develop them
You might improve what they had at the start
Sharpen the reflexes, nail the timing,
But punchers are punchers, no matter what
& all the good ones have a distinct knack
Of meeting men incoming, then doubling
Lethal Impact, like a head-on car crash
{marking out nine inches with his fingers}
A good punch will not travel more than this
Nine inches, with the body behind it

Ronnie Kray
We are talking ‘bout Boxing, Henry, right

Henry Cooper
Yeah, of course, here’s an interesting fact
The acceleration of a quick fist
Is sixty times the force of gravity

Reggie Kray
Bloody ‘ell

Ronnie Kray
I’ll tell ya what’s quicker, tho

Henry Cooper
What’s that then

Ronnie Kray
{getting gun out}
A fucking shooter, mate, of instant demise

Reggie Kray
Put that away, Ronnie, fucks sake

Ronnie Kray

Scene 10

Hyde Park Corner – a few press are gather’d around Cassius Clay, who stands on a box to speak

Cassius Clay
Good Morning London, Good Morning England
My name is Cassius Clay, I am here
Stood under stars not mine, on stranger soil
Of a lovely country, to fight its champ
Apparently not as pretty as me,
But then again, who is – hey, where am I

Journalist 1

Cassius Clay
Right here now, what is this place

Journalist 1
Hyde Park

Journalist 2
Yes, Cassius, its call’d Hyde Park Corner

Cassius Clay
Well, I was told this was the place to come
To make a capital proclamation
& so, I have a couplet for you all
About my fight forthcoming with Cooper
A big & ugly bum by all accounts
If he gives me five, I’ll stop him in five
If he gives me more, I’ll stop him in four

Journalist 3
Did you not say three, originally

Cassius Clay
I did, yeah

Journalist 3
So why the change

Cassius Clay
I wanted
All of you English gentlemanly chaps
From the gabl’d lodges of Windy Break
Bussock Bottom & Tussock Wood, to gain
Good value for your pounds, no need to rush

Journalist 1
So, you’re sure you will win

Cassius Clay
Of course I am
I got superior height, weight, balance,
Reach, speed, youth & strength – I’m going to point
Exactly to the spot where he will fall
As I come out for the fifth, be read
To watch me drop him on that very spot
Well, that would be history wouldn’t it

Journalist 1
Can you tell us about your catchphrase, please

Cassius Clay
What’s that?

Journalist 1
Your, ehm, float like a butterfly,
Sting like a bee… where, where does that come from

Cassius Clay
Well, all the greatest fighters have nick-names
Joe Louis was the Brown Bomber, the Rock,
That was Rocky Marciano, Sugar,
That one was prefix’d to Ray Robinson
My man, Bundini Brown, was asking God
What I should be call’d, before he knew me
& so it came to him one gorgeous day
Upon a beach-drift, glaz’d by ocean spray
That I, Cassius Clay, a butterfly
Am like in my movement, but then my punch
Is like the brutal stinger of a bee
Such beautiful words too, as do befit
Such a fine, fine specimen as myself

Journalist 2
Cassius, in a recent interview
You declar’d with invigorated pomp
You were the noblest Roman of them old
Why is that

Cassius Clay
Well, my name is Cassius
& my daddy’s name was Cassius too
It sounds so grand & dignified, like me

Journalist 1
Your father’s something of an artist, right

Cassius Clay
Well, kind of, he makes signs round Louisville

Journalist 3
You have artistic tendencies yourself

Cassius Clay
Well, I can draw a little, but mostly
I’ll be concentrating on my fighting
Busying knocking out all of these bums

Journalist 1
You are a bit of an actor as well
Mister Clay

Cassius Clay
Well, eh, a lot of people
Think I’m acting, but if they’re assemble
At Wembley Stadium, June the Eighteenth
They’ll see I mean every word I say

Journalist 3
So, what are your protoscene impressions
Of this little island country of ours

Cassisu Clay
Great Britain is a real lovely place, but
I’m American, & not used to it
The cars are too small, the streets too narrow
I like open spaces & haven’t seen
As many pretty girls as seen back home

Journalist 1
Are you terribly homesick, Cassius

Cassius Clay
I cannot wait to get out, to be told
There are lots of grown men making remarks
& that is just gonna make it harder
On Henry Cooper,

Journlist 2
You really think so

Cassius Clay
I do, & so my rhapsody is done,
& I’ll be now returning to my run
Thank you all for coming

Journalist 3
Hey Cassius

Cassius Clay
Sorry, man, I got hard training to do

Exit Cassius Clay

Journalist 1
I can’t believe that, out of bed at four
First tube in the morning for five minutes
Of drudging diatribe & vanity

Journalist 2
I might not even bother writing mine up
I’m just gonna go home & back to bed

Journalist 3
Lucky you – gotta have mine in by noon

Journalist 2
See you all at Wembley, then

Journalist 1
You too Rick
It should be an interesting night

Journalist 2

Exit journalists

On this day: Henry Cooper almost destroys Muhammad Ali legend before it  begins - The Ring

Scene 11

Wembley stadium, Henry Cooper vs Cassius Clay

Harry Carpenter
Fair welcome to the star-lac’d open air
Of Wembley Stadium, heart of the land
In grand & sporting context, the night skies
Darkening with rapid alacrity
Impressive backdrop of menacing clouds
The rain beginning to ease… here he comes
Cassius Clay, & he’s wearing a crown
Cassius Clay, gimmick man to the last
Comes into the ring with this monster crown
On his head, all the way down to the ringside
Thro’ rows of people who are throwing things
Trying to knock that crown right off his head
& despite looking quite ridiculous
Mister Clay is the best thing to happen
To the fight game in a very long time
The Greatest according to the legend
Swath’d across his crimson silk dressing gown
& now a cheer goes up – no doubt about
Whose side the crowd is on – Henry Cooper
The British champion’s making his way
Into the ring, while Cassius warms up
Gassius Cassius, Louisville Lip,
There’ll be no gimmicks for Henry Cooper
The man has maintained a most dignified
Silence all thro’ the prefight ballyhoo
The left hook specialist, the quiet man
From Bellingham, since nineteen fifty-nine
The British Champion, Henry Cooper
Twenty-nine years old, tonight he will face
His biggest test, in the unbeaten Clay
From America, MC Johnny Best
In the middle, its Cooper versus Clay

Johnny Best
Hello ladies & gentleman, the main
Event, tonight’s, the international
Heavyweight contest, ten rounds, three minutes
Each round – presenting, first, from Bellingham
Heavyweight Champion of Great Britain,
Henry Cooper, from Louisville, Kentucky,
Cassius Clay – Cooper weighs thirteen stone
Three & a half pounds, Clay weighs fourteen stone
Eleven pounds, the officials tonight
The referee, Mister Tommy Little
& the timekeeper, Mister Stan Courtney

Harry Carpenter
Well, there’s a solid unexpectation
Cooper has enter’d the ring most light
Full stone & a half he will yield to Clay

Tommy Little
Lads, remember everything I’ve told you
Shake hands, & when the battle-bell doth ring
Come out boxing, & may the best man win

Harry Carpenter
So, we are here, for the fight of the year
Clay from the right-hand corner & Cooper
Of Britain, Clay said he’d triumph in five
We’ll see, a lot of people thing Cooper’s
Only chance is to trample in early
With his left hook & nail Clay to the floor
Clay six foot two & a half, & Cooper
Six foot one & a half, Clay is a fine
Figure of a man… Cooper’s moving quick
To pick up the left hook, he’s going in
He’s hurt Clay, looks like Clay is hanging on
He is thinking & frowning in the first
Thirty seconds, & Clay’s nose is bleeding
In the first minute, from Cooper’s left hook
& that will be the first blood to Cooper
Now Clay’s arguing with the referee
That Henry Cooper’s trying to hold him
& he is getting angry – well, well, well
What a sensational start to this fight
For Clay’s gone fighting mad, & there is blood
On Cooper’s shoulder, the blow to Clay’s nose
& there’s another one, Cooper’s scoring
Heavily, the American is hurt
Cooper’s right on top, & there is the bell

That hypersolid round has done wonders
For Great Britain’s professional boxing
At ringside there are people on their feet
Cheering Henry Cooper’s fantastic start
Clay was hurt in his first minute, since then
Was troubl’d by Cooper’s left hooks & jabs
The great Cassius Clay out of his stride
The man who has bever been beat & now
The crowds starting up a fantastic roar
For Cooper – this is the greatest fight night
E’er witness’d by this long embattl’d realm
The first three minutes have been, well, simply

& here’s round two
Can Cooper beat Clay, put British boxing
On the summit of the Heavyweight world
But one slightly disturbing thought is this
Cooper hit Cassius several times
With his fierce left hook, but never dropp’d him
Nor did Cassius Clay show any signs
Of going down – the man can take a punch
& Clay is now working on Cooper’s face
His right jab’s beginning to get to work
But Henry is bulging with confidence
Cooper’s left hook gainst the left jab of Clay
There is no way of telling, at this stage,
Which punch is going to come out on top
& now Cooper seems to be grazed slightly
Underneath the left eye, it doesn’t look
Anything serious, but Clay’s left jab
Is beginning to accurately strike
His steady punches into Cooper’s face


As the bell ends the second, Cooper’s cut
Under his left eye’s worsen’d a little
Cooper always cuts easily, but it’s
Underneath the eye, not over, which is
Not nearly as serious as might be
& here is the handsome Cassius Clay
Who’s promis’d a fight with Sonny Liston
If he wins tonight, stood ready to go
For round three, after the shock of hi slife
In the first round


Well, the rain has now stopp’d
& the excitement has really risen
Among the crowd here who have seen Cooper
Take the fight to Clay, the fifty thousand
In Wembley are firmly on Cooper’s side
His left eye’s got patch’d up, but now appears
Another, but this time over the orb
That looks like a very bad cut to me
It’s a tragedy for Henry Copper
He’s going to have a serious job
Getting thro’ the bout with that bleeding eye
The referee’s having a look at it
& Cooper’s now fighting desperately
He knows, for sure, his time is running short
See him apprehensively feeling for
The cut with his left glove, he has no choice
There is no telling how long Cooper’s got
With that eye – Clay’s acting contemptuous
His arms are hanging downwards by his hips
Threatening, teasing, make Cooper look small
Only footwork keeps the Briton at bay
This is complete cheek on the part of Clay
Who feels that he has got it in the bag
Because of that eye, every Cooper punch
Has bounc’d off Clay, & look at that left eye
It is, indeed, a very sorry sight
A cut above, a cut below, & blood


& as the bell concludes that frantic round
Danny Holland will have to work so hard
To try & staunch the gushing flow of blood
From that eye – it really is a bad one
Cooper must try finish it if he can
But staring back at him in defiance
The face of the American negro
Handsomeness retains, completely unmarked


After the greatest round of his career
Henry Cooper’s severely handicapp’d
& now, as he comes out into the ring,
To fight round four against Cassius Clay
Completely unmark’d, set for victory
And Cooper’s eye is already bleeding
Above & below, two thick streams of blood
Cooper keeps putting his left glove up there
To his left eye, as if he can hardly
Believe his bad luck

Cassius Clay
Hit me – here I am
Hey, Henry, why do you keep missing me

Angelo Dundee
Hey Cassius, stop the funny business

Harry Carpenter
We’re looking for a sign of the left hook
From Cooper, which can really hurt this man
But apart from the opening minute
He hasn’t seem’d to hurt Clay very much
Who now is jabbing quite casually
& dancing around, seems to be half here
His mind seems half away, off somewhere else
Treating Cooper almost as a plaything
But that’s the sort of chance a man can take
Once too often, & if Henry nails him
Anything might happen – Clay is over
Clay is over – what a punch –


Clay is up
He was struck two minutes before the bell
& still knows not, it seems, just where he is
He’s still half out, his team works furious
Hoping smelling salts will spring him to life
Angelo Dundee’s down there, Clay’s trainer,
Is really giving him a talking to
Yes, Cooper’s left hook has finally scor’d
Something extraordinary’s happen’d
Because the referee, Tommy Little
Has gone over to talk to Clay’s corner
& it seems that perhaps his glove is split
Look, there’s the horsehair, new gloves have been found,
I’m sure Clay will love these extra seconds
Recuperation surely they’ll bestow
But will they be enough, or will Cooper
Knock him down again –


Well, it’s seconds out
& here they both come for round number five
The very round Clay claim’d he’d beat Cooper
But now this Wembley crowd begins to bay
For Cooper’s victory, they’re sensing blood
Clay, on the floor at the end of the fourth,
Fights to preserve his professional life
Here, in England, against Henry Cooper
But – ooo – Cooper’s left is really in
A shocking state, his blood is outpouring
His gum shield outflying, he’s dripping blood
Bathing ringside in showers of crimson
Tommy Little will have to stop this soon
Because Henry Cooper’s eye is in an
Absolutely appalling state, the worse
Cut eye I’ve seen in a very long time
I do not see how he can let this go
Much further now

The Crows
Stop the fight! Stop the fight!

Harry Carpenter
& now he’s stepping in – I think that it
The towel comes in from Cooper’s corner
& Tommy Little’s had to stop the fight
& he was left with no alternative

Angelo Dundee & Bundini Brown
{going round the ring to boos, holding up palms}
We told you five, we told you five

Harry Carpenter
& so,
It’s all over in round five, just as Clay
Said it would, & he’s getting bombarded
With programmes from furious ringsiders
& Cooper, despite being well beaten
With a deep cut eye is far from disgraced

Clay & Cooper hug then say a few words, before Clay goes round the ring in triumph

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