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BOXING

Golden Gloves champion and Omaha native Harley Cooper heading to Hall of Fame

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Golden Gloves champion and Omaha native Harley Cooper heading to Hall of Fame

Harley Cooper spent 50-plus years involved with the Golden Gloves as either a fighter, coach or tournament director.

Omahan Harley Cooper will be inducted into the Golden Gloves Hall of Fame when the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions comes to Ralston Arena next May.

Cooper, 83, said he was recently notified that he would be a member of the 2018 Hall of Fame class.

“I was surprised,” Cooper said Monday. “I feel really, really proud about it.”

Cooper spent 50-plus years involved with the Golden Gloves as either a fighter, coach or tournament director. He is Nebraska’s only two-time national champion — winning titles at heavyweight in 1963 and light heavyweight in 1964 — and was headed for the 1964 Olympics until it was discovered he only had one kidney.

Cooper previously was inducted into the Great Plains Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame (1976) and the Nebraska Black Sports Hall of Fame (2009).

The Golden Gloves Hall of Fame banquet is held in conjunction with the Tournament of Champions, scheduled for May 14-19 at Ralston Arena.

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