"It's no good just following him, going after him," Cooper had said earlier. "You've got to corner him, cut across, make angles. You've got to bustle him right from the bell, but you must do it scientificlike. He's not half as good a fighter if he can't get on his bike and jab. You mustn't give him time to think and box. You must move from the hips. Clay has looked best against big guys who are ponderous and throw right hands. Clay has got some very amateurish ways. Most good fighters will lean forward on the side to slip punches, but Clay leans backward. If you follow through with three straight left hands, he goes back until he can't go back no further and you catch him. He's not a great puncher, either. You wouldn't Stick your chin out and say, 'Go on, hit me on the chin," but he couldn't knock you out with one punch, either. He hasn't really got his feet planted on the ground. He's off balance. Instead, his fighting is an accumulated effect. He can wear you down or cut you after about five to eight rounds. If you get him inside, he's very amateurish. He looks to the referee instead of fighting back and punching to the body. He wants to get you with his long left hand."
Cooper, 32, is 192 pounds to Muhammad Ali's 24 and 204—lightest the champion has been since his first Liston fight.
"At Cooper's age they get mean and tough." the champion said, with an eye on the gate. Maybe so, but they do not get faster, and on the best day of his life Cooper was not a good enough boxer to keep Muhammad—enough of that—to keep Cassius Clay's fists out of his face. Clay may not be a Louis or a Dempsey as a puncher, but, as Dundee says, his punches do cut, as they did Liston in the first fight. And Cooper can cut himself putting on his cap.
So Cooper will go into the Arsenal stadium on Saturday dwelling on the prospect of one left hook arriving where it is supposed to In boxing there is always that prospect for a puncher, but Clay, who cannot get a fight in his own country except with the politician-patriots, should be able to avoid 'Enry's 'ammer. Meanwhile, he has tuned up his own punch by working on an 83-pound bag that he ordered flown from Miami. He did not use the heavy bag before his two previous fights. But neither was much in the way of history.