TONY JEFFRIES has paid tribute to “true legend” Sir Henry Cooper, who died at the weekend.
The Sunderland super-middleweight was a fresh-faced 16-year-old when he met Sir Henry at a boxing function.
But he knew he was in the presence of a great man.
Olympic bronze medalist Tony, who is training in the U.S. and hopes to fight again next month, said: “I was shocked when I heard that Sir Henry had died.
“He was one of those people you thought would be around forever and he always looked fit when you saw him on TV.
“The things he did in his career were incredible but the big thing was the respect everyone had for him.
“I was just 16 when I met him. I had a quick photo taken with him and he wished me all the best. I was buzzing.”
Sir Henry passed away at the age of 76.
Boxing luminaries ranging from Cooper’s friend and former opponent Muhammad Ali to heavyweight champion David Haye have paid tribute to the former British, European and Commonwealth champ.
Cooper is best remembered for his 1963 fight with Ali when he floored the American – then still called Cassius Clay.