Ron Cooper

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameRonald Dennis "Ron"•Cooper
Used nameRon•Cooper
Born5 February 1928 in Poplar, Greater London, England (GBR)
Died15 March 2023
AffiliationsRoyal Navy, (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


The youngest of ten children, Ron Cooper started his boxing career in 1944, after previously showing promise as a footballer. A year after wearing boxing gloves for the first time, he won the Federation of Boys’ Clubs Championship in the flyweight division. Cooper joined the Royal Navy as a stoker in 1946 for his two years National Service, and won Royal Navy and Inter-Services boxing titles. He reached the lightweight semi-final of the ABA Championship in 1947 but, as a result of an ear injury, had to pull out of the final against Welshman Colin Morrissey. The injury also prevented Cooper from competing at the European Championships. However, later that year, he made his international début against Switzerland. He went on to capture his only ABA title (lightweight) in 1948, after beating Peter Guichan in the final. Victory assured Cooper of a place on the Great Britain Olympic team, but his father died shortly after his ABA success and never saw him fight at the London Games. Cooper worked as a welder at the Millwall docks at the time of the Olympics.

Cooper was forced to turn professional shortly after the Olympics in order to support his mother financially, and had 24 fights in a four-year career, winning 16 and drawing four before retiring from the ring, disillusioned by bad management, at the age of just 25. Despite his love of football as a youngster, Cooper was later a keen rugby fan, and enjoyed ballroom dancing in his boxing days, as a way of improving his footwork.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Boxing GBR Ron Cooper
Lightweight, Men (Olympic) =9