INTRODUCTION: Boxing -- and in Antwerp, Belgium, local hero Jean-Pierre Coopman tried to stop Jose Urtain of Spain from taking his third European heavyweight title on Saturday (12 March).
GV Start of fight, round one, Jean-Pierre Coopman of Belgium in lighter trunks fighting Jose Urtain of Spain for European heavyweight title.
GVS Start of round 4 and fight in progress.
SV Referee watching fight.
SV Coopman and Urtain fighting at close range, with Coopman landing most of the punches.
SV Crowd cheering
SV Coopman knocks Urtain to canvas, referee counting and fight ends with Coopman rejoicing.
GV Crowd cheering
GV Coopman holding flowers and being congratulated in ring.
Initials VS 19.40
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Boxing -- and in Antwerp, Belgium, local hero Jean-Pierre Coopman tried to stop Jose Urtain of Spain from taking his third European heavyweight title on Saturday (12 March).
SYNOPSIS: At the start of round one Coopman, wearing the lighter trunks, came in with some decisive punching, but at this stage of the contest there was not much between the two fighters. Coopman, Belgium's "Lion of Flanders", lasted five rounds against world champion Muhammad Ali a year ago. Aged 31, he has fought 37 bouts and won 31. He is the heavyweight champion of Belgium.
At the start of round four it was still anybody's guess as to the outcome of the fight. Few expected it to go the full 15 rounds, and the feeling was that Urtain would be seeking victory before the end of the fifth round. For a brief period during the third round it looked as if he was getting the better of Coopman -- but this glory was short-lived.
Still in round four, only now it's becoming obvious that Coopman has the upper hand. Both boxers are clinging to each other tiredly -- but there's still life in Coopman, who repeatedly pushes Urtain away and lands the most telling punches of the contest.
The tactics paid off and by now it looks all over for the Spaniard, who can do little to defend himself against Coopman's flurry of straight punches.
Urtain finally turned away from the battering and as he sagged against the ropes, the Belgian went through dramatic victory celebrations. The referee counts the defeated Spaniard out and his seconds throw in the towel.
A great day for the Antwerp enthusiasts as their hero takes the title. And not such a bad moment for the man himself.