The World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Muhammed Ali, has signed with his next opponent, Belgian fighter, Jean Pierre Coopman.
READER TO CAMERA:
SV Ali and Coopman spar jokingly for newsmen.
SV Newsmen listening and talking photographs of the two fighters.
SV Coopman talking to newsmen in Flemish.
CU Ali talking and making faces at newsmen.
TRANSLATOR: "Yes. He feels it is a great advantage not to be able to understand because it keeps his mind clear."
REPORTER TO ALI: "Do you know he can't understand a word of English?"
REPORTER TO ALI: "But he won't understand what you're saying."
ALI: "Well I hope it helps him. But I have a way of looking at him like (scowls at reporter) and everyone in the world knows what that means."
Initials VS 20.35 VS 20.45
This film is serviced with a commentary in English by NBC reporter, Dick Schaap. There is also an interview with Muhammad Ali. The commentary is in English, a transcript of which follows overleaf. The film is also serviced with an interview with Jean-Pierre Coopman. Coopman's comments are in Flemish but a translator speaks for him in English. A transcript of both interviews appears below:-DICK SCHAAP
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Muhammed Ali, has signed with his next opponent, Belgian fighter, Jean Pierre Coopman.
The fight is due to be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 20, this year.
Both fighters attended a press conference in New York on Wednesday (7 January) where they formally signed the agreement for the fight.
At the conference Ali warned that the Belgian boxer "ain't got a chance."
However Coopman had a slightly different version of the outcome of the fight. He said, "I will be totally disgusted with myself if I do not win the World Heavyweight Crown. Muhammad Ali is a myth that I will destroy."
The Belgian has at least one advantage over Ali's former rivals..... he doesn't speak a word of English. Ali was asked if this may not hamper his style, known for the verbal sparring which taunts opponents.
Ali replied, "Well I hope it helps him.....he needs something. Anyway, even if he can't speak I'll just look at him and scowl; he'll know what it means."
SYNOPSIS: In New York on Wednesday, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Muhammad Ali, signed to defend his title against the Belgian fighter, Jean-Pierre Coopman. The fight is due to take place in Puerto Rico on February the twentieth this year. After formally signing the agreement for the fight both fighters held a news conference for waiting reporters. N.B.C's Dick Schaap was there:
"Jean-Pierre Coopman, or the Lion of Flanders, as he is not very widely known, comes into this fight with a terrific advantage over most of Ali's opponents; Coopman can't speak a word of English....but he is one of the very few fighters in the whole world fluent in Flemish."