Anthony Joshua 5 British heavyweight world title bouts

AFP Sports looks at five other heavyweight world title bouts involving British boxers.

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A pair of split boxing gloves worn by Muhammad Ali during his 1963 fight against Henry Cooper -- the British boxer won that bout but lost a susequent fight on points play

A pair of split boxing gloves worn by Muhammad Ali during his 1963 fight against Henry Cooper -- the British boxer won that bout but lost a susequent fight on points

(AFP/File)
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British boxer Anthony Joshua bids to add the World Boxing Association (WBA) belt and retain his International Boxing Federation (IBF) title when he fights Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley on Saturday.

AFP Sports looks at five other heavyweight world title bouts involving British boxers:

Don Cockell v Rocky Marciano - 1955

A top-class light heavyweight, Cockell moved up to heavyweight and took on the daunting challenge of fighting Rocky Marciano in the United States.

He ballooned in size ahead of the bout earning himself some derogatory nicknames including "The Battersea Butterball", a play on his fighting moniker "The Battersea Blacksmith".

In the event he far from disgraced himself, courageously going nine rounds with a Marciano who resorted to the darker arts of hitting below the belt and after the bell.

Cockell, though, resisted rather than took the fight to him and he was put out of his agony in the ninth.

Cockell's courage was reflected in a comment by Marciano afterwards: "I hit him harder than I have ever hit anyone."

Henry Cooper v Muhammad Ali - 1966

'Enry, as he was warmly known, had already achieved the rare feat of knocking Ali down in an earlier tussle in 1963 with the latter remarking "(he) hit me so hard my ancestors in Africa felt it".

There was to be no repeat in the 1966 title fight at Arsenal's then ground Highbury as Ali won with a technical knock-out in the sixth round -- it was of little consolation to Cooper that he was ahead on the judges' scorecards at the time.

Richard Dunn v Muhammad Ali - 1976

Not many people who have been sent to the canvas five times in five horrific rounds would attest to it being the favourite experience of their sporting lives.

But that is Dunn's assessment looking back on his successful career. The former British Army paratrooper took a pounding and a half from Ali in what was to be the legend's final European fight.

"I think it was the best sporting moment of my life. I've got the original tape of our fight," Dunn told Press Association Sport after Ali died last year.

"It's locked away in the bank. I'm not going to lose it so I've had copies made and given those out."

Frank Bruno v Lennox Lewis - 1993

The first time two British boxers contested the heavyweight world title.

Crowd favourite Bruno, who was hoping to strike it third time lucky after title losses to Tim Witherspoon and then Mike Tyson, was up against the young title holder Lewis, who struggled for years to persuade many Britons that he wasn't really Canadian having won an Olympic title for that country.

Bruno -- as was often the case -- started well but by the seventh round suffered his old problem of fading and Lewis gained the upper hand to the extent the referee stopped the fight. Bruno was to have his moment in the sun -- albeit briefly -- when he got the world title by beating Oliver McCall in 1995.

David Haye v Wladimir Klitschko - 2011

Ostensibly a cruiserweight, Haye looked to have the tools to be a top-class heavyweight and was a world champion having beaten Russian man mountain Nikolay Valuev.

But Klitschko remained the marker for getting recognition at heavyweight.

It was not to be as a limp performance by Haye in the world title unification contest saw Klitschko win easily on points. Haye blamed his under-par display on a broken toe but it couldn't gloss over a dominant performance by the Ukrainian.

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