The Greats

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Johnny Cooke

born: 17/12/1934, Bootle, Liverpool

Fight History
52 (KO's 5)
Divisions fought in

After losing only 16 of 368 recorded contests as an amateur, Johnny Cooke became one of Britain's leading professional boxers of the 1960s, although he did not join the paid ranks until he was 26 years old. He won the Central Area welterweight title in 1962 by beating his cousin, Dave Coventry, and five years later, became British and Empire champion: after one successful defence of each crown, he lost them on a points decision he strongly objected to. He also challenged, unsuccessfully, for the European title in 1967. He was frequently in demand, and faced many of the leading boxers of his day on their home turf. After losing his British title, he hoped to get another chance: as it was, much to his annoyance, he was overlooked for four years, until 1971, when he lost an eliminator against Les Pearson, so he never joined that select group of boxers who have won the Lonsdale Belt outright. After this, he fought one more contest, a draw against Gieli Buitendag in Johannesburg, before retiring.

Johnny Cooke with Tommy Bache
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Related Images

⊕  Johnny Cooke with Tommy Bache
Liverpool Stadium 19 March 1964.
⊕  Johnny Cooke v Jimmy McGrail
Johnny Cooke beat Lennox Beckles of Guyana on points over 15 rounds to win the vacant Commonwealth title
⊕  Johnny Cooke Commonwealth Champion

⊕  Johnny Cooke in the Gym with the McAteers
Cooke takes on Cullen in a final eliminator for the BBBofC lightweight title at the Liverpool Stadium 4 October 1962
⊕  Johnny Cooke V Maurice Cullen

⊕  Johnny Cooke with his sons

⊕  Johnny Cooke with Lonsdale Belt
Johnny Cooke salutes the Liverpool Stadium crowd after defeating Doyle to retain the British Welterweight Title.
⊕  Johnny Cooke v Shaun Doyle

⊕  Johnny Cooke v Tony Smith
Cooke and McCaffrey battle it out for the vacant British welterweight title at the King's Hall, Belle Vue, Manchester, 13 February 1967.
⊕  Johnny Cooke v Brian McCaffrey
Cooke and McCaffrey greet each other after their gruelling 15 round title fight.
⊕  Johnny Cooke v Brian McCaffrey
National Dock Labour Board Amateur boxing competition.
⊕  Johnny Cooke competitor badge
20 June 1966
⊕  Anglo-American Sporting Club

⊕  St Monica's Gym and Boxing Club c1949