Boxing


Chauncy Welliver Wins Wide, Ten-Round UD Over “Smokin’” Bert Cooper

By James Slater - Last night in Jefferson City, Missouri, “Hillyard Hammer” Chauncy Welliver improved to 53-5-5(20) with a wide, near shut-out ten-round UD over an ancient Bert Cooper (yes, Bert Cooper!). Winning almost every round with his youth and speed, 28-year-old Welliver retained his WBC Continental American heavyweight title via scores of 100-90 and 99-91, 99-91. 46-year-old “Smokin’” Bert gave it a go but he is simply too old and slow to be able to fight anywhere near affectively these days. The one-time Joe Frazier protégé is now 38-24(31)..

Welliver, who is based in New Zealand these days and has built up a following by streaking to 18 straight wins, most of them picked up in New Zealand, has not lost since being stopped in the 9th-round by Cuba’s Odlanier Solis back in 2008. Having worked hard, in the gym and in the ring, the one-time “Fat Dorky White Guy” has got down to below 240-pounds and Welliver has fought at a good, active rate (six wins last year alone).

When last night’s match-up was announced, many fans expected a KO win for Welliver. Cooper has not fought since being blitzed inside two-rounds by another Cuban in Luis Ortiz last April, and the veteran from Philly has been stopped some 15 times in his career. But the old guy was able to hang on in until the final bell last night; either due to the toughness he still has or the fact that Welliver is not a huge puncher.

It’s not clear what last night’s win will do for Welliver, but the unbeaten streak continues. It would be interesting to see “The Hillyard Hammer” in there with a ranked opponent, say a Johnathon Banks type, or maybe the winner of the upcoming Monte Barrett-Shane Cameron fight set for New Zealand.

Welliver can fight; we just don’t know how well he can fight against the top guys. As for Cooper, it is hoped he now hangs up the gloves. A pro since way, way back in 1984!, Cooper enjoyed a good career in the 1990s, facing some of the best heavyweights in the sport. But that version of Cooper - the one that saw him rumble on equal terms with the likes of Ray Mercer, Evander Holyfield and Michael Moorer - has long since gone.

However, seeing as he was able to last the distance, I won’t be surprised if Bert convinces himself to stick around.

Article posted on 06.04.2012



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