Bert Cooper To Return To The Ring Next Month?

by James Slater - "Smokin'" Bert Cooper, onetime protégé of the legendary Joe Frazier (hence the "Smokin'" nickname) thrilled fight fans on numerous occasions back in the 1990s. Going up against big names like Ray Mercer, Evander Holyfield (in Bert's one and only challenge for the legitimate world heavyweight title), and Michael Moorer (for the WBO belt), Cooper sent the fans home happy. Cooper may have lost all his big fights, but he warred with Mercer for the full 12-rounds, and he decked Holyfield and Moorer..

That was a long time ago, though, and Bert is now aged 43 and he has been out of the ring since being stopped in the 4th-round by Darroll Wilson in September of 2002. However, according to the usually reliable, Cooper is soon to make a comeback.

Up as fighting next month against the unbeaten but untested and largely unknown Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell, a 27-year-old from Maryland, Cooper, if the fight goes ahead, will be having his sixtieth pro bout. Cooper's motives for coming back are as unknown as his present physical condition, but it's probably a fair bet to suggest the 36-22(30) slugger is in need of money.

Winless in nine of his last thirteen outings, Cooper began to slide as far back as 1993, when he was beaten by Mike Weaver, Corrie Sanders and then Craig Peterson (in that heavyweight tourney known as "The Peoples' Choice One Night Heavyweight Tournament," remember it?). Having taken more than his share of punishment during a pro career that started down at cruiserweight back in 1984, it's tough to see how Bert can get back to winning ways now.

Mitchell, 13-0-1(8) is no huge heavyweight at 6'2," but he is hefty enough at an approx 244-pounds. So much younger than Cooper and also hungry and a decent puncher, "Mayhem" will have a good chance of working the returning name over. So far, Mitchell has not fought any instantly recognisable heavies (only six of his opponents had winning records), but he has defeated the odd journeyman, such as Dan Whetzel (TKO 1). In truth, not much is known about the man from Maryland, but even so he must be expected to beat the 43-year-old Cooper.

The fight is up as taking place on October 24th, at The Convention Centre in Washington D.C. and Cooper will be having his first bout in over seven years, while Mitchell will be having his fifth fight this year. Who knows what exactly we will get when the bell goes next month, but it doesn't figure to be too pretty. If he does have anything at all left, Cooper, who always was as game as they come, just might get himself a win. After all, Mitchell has never faced anyone with as much experience as Cooper has; as old and surely creaking with rust as he is today.

Mitchell has to be the pick, though, and we must hope the likeable old warrior from Philly doesn't wind up getting himself badly hurt.

Article posted on 27.09.2009

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