On Friday, the news broke that Bert Cooper, a flawed but courageous warrior, died at the age of 53 due to pancreatic cancer. Known for his ferocious punching power, Cooper spent the first part of his career under the tutelage of Philadelphia legend Joe Frazier. He lost wars to Ray Mercer and Michael Moorer, but Cooper will always be remembered for coming in as a late replacement to face a prime Evander Holyfield for the world heavyweight championship in 1991. Cooper had Holyfield badly hurt and was perhaps one punch away from fistic immortality, but the great Holyfield weathered the storm and stopped Cooper a few rounds later. Cooper's career was checkered by substance abuse and half-hearted performances, and sadly, he admitted that boxing fans really never saw the best of Bert Cooper. What we did see, however, was thrilling. Boxingtalk sends its condolences to the friends and family of Bert Cooper.