Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Nickname: "Gentleman Gerry"

   After quite a successful amateur boxing career of 55 wins and 3 losses, 2 New York Golden Gloves Titles, and some international experience, 6' 5" Gerry Cooney was ready to turn professional and did so with a bang on Feb. 15, 1977 with an easy first round knockout over Bill Jackson.

   In just 1 year he built his record to 9-0, 8 ko's against some pretty soft opposition with a total record of 9-45-4.  He handled them easily and proved that he was ready for a step up in competition and faced Gary Bates (18-18-3, 5 ko's) on the undercard of Carlos Palomino vs Ryu Sorimachi for the WBC Welter Title.  Cooney had no trouble dispatching Bates in 4 rounds and was starting to get some real notice.

   Cooney was now facing a tougher level of opponents with some very well regarded journeymen boxers including future WBC Cruiserweight Champion S.T. Gordon who was dispatched in 4 rounds.

   Jan. 13, 1979 Cooney was placed in a crossroads matchup against a prospect out of East Los Angeles, CA - Eddie "The Animal" Lopez (12-1, 8 ko).  Gentleman Gerry came through in impressive fashion winning handily on a unanimous decision and he was being regarded as a contender rather than a prospect.

   He was now introduced to some world class opponents and steam rolled his way through them.  Among the list were world ranked contenders:  John Dino Denis (35-2-1, 16 ko) and Leroy Boone (12-3, 5 ko).

   It was time to see what they had, and his management matched him against former World Title Challenger - Jimmy Young (25-9-2, 9 ko).  A cut over Young's left eye led to a 4th round stoppage and a big win for Gerry.

   Gerry Cooney was now the talk of the boxing world, and why not?  With a record of 23-0, 19 by knockout, he was impressive and captured the imaginations of boxing fans around the world.  Next up was another former World Title challenger, 39 year old Ron Lyle.  Even though he was older, he was still considered dangerous.  Cooney made it a short night stopping Lyle in the first round and setting up a showdown with former WBC World Heavyweight Champion Ken Norton (42-6-1, 33 ko).

   May 11, 1981.  Madison Square Garden.   Cooney dispatched the former champion in devastating fashion, leaving Norton hanging on the ropes in a daze.  It was Norton's last pro bout, and that image stuck in the minds of many boxing fans and cemented Cooney's legitimacy as a challenger to the king of the heavyweight division - WBC Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes (39-0, 29 ko's).

   June 11, 1982 and Caesars Palace in Las Vegas Nevada was the site of one of the decade's "Superfights".  It had all of the elements a boxing fan could want.  The unbeaten challenger with big time knockout power against the unbeaten champion who seemed invincible.  Some saw Cooney as a media creation with no real chance to win, others saw him as an irresistible force ready to take the crown from Holmes.  It turned out to be quite an event, and a pretty darn good fight.  Cooney kept it close through 12 rounds, but the champion started to get to him and stopped him in round 13 as Cooney's trainer (Victor Valle) jumped in to stop the fight and keep Cooney from taking any more punishment.  At the time of the stoppage Holmes was ahead on the 3 judges scorecards, by scores of 113-111 x 2, and 115-109.  An amazing score when you consider that Referee Mills Lane deducted 3 points from Cooney for Low Blows!

A night most boxing fans will never forget!

   Cooney's title challenging performance by no means hurt his reputation as a contender, but it did leave some questions about just how good the New York Heavyweight really was.  It was a bitter defeat, and left Cooney himself unsure about where to go next.

   It was over 2 years later when Cooney returned to the ring and faced undefeated Philipp Brown (23-0-2, 15 ko) in a bout televised on CBS.  The once beaten Cooney seemed a bit rusty, but effective enough to stop Brown in round 4.  He easily dispatched two very good opponents in former Maryland State Champion and USBA Title Challenger - George Chaplin (22-6-2, 10 ko), and former New York State Champion and NABF Title Challenger - Eddie Gregg (24-1-1, 18 ko) both by early knockouts.

   Cooney ended his career against two World Champions.  June 15, 1987 saw Cooney put his impressive record of 28-1, 24 by ko, against undefeated IBF World Heavyweight Champion - Michael Spinks (30-0, 20 ko).  It was a fascinating matchup of the former Light-Heavyweight Champion, now undefeated Heavyweight Champion (IBF version), against the once beaten power punching contender, a fascinating contrast in styles, but in a bout that was even up to the point of the stoppage, it was Spinks stopping Cooney late in the 5th round.  Spinks would fight just once more after this, being ko'd by Mike Tyson in 91 seconds of their title unifying match.

   Gerry's last pro bout was also a high profile bout against former and future Heavyweight Champion George Foreman (64-2, 60 ko).  The bout was stopped in just under 2 minutes of round 2 and "Big George" would go on to caputure the IBF, WBA, IBA and WBU Heavyweight Titles.

Gerry Cooney will always be remembered fondly by fans of boxing's heavyweight division, if you were a supporter, or not, no one can ever say that he didn't bring lots of excitement to the boxing scene in the late 1970's and 1980's era!  He finished his pro boxing career with an excellent record of: 28 wins, 3 losses, and 24 knockouts.

Click Here to see:
Gerry Cooney's complete Pro Record

If you would like to see "Gentleman" Gerry Cooney in ring action, I have the following bouts available on DVD:

1. S.T. GORDON                 [w-DQ-4]
2. GRADY DANIELS           [tko-5]
3. CHARLIE JOHNSON      [ko-1]
4. TOM PRATER                  [tko-2]
5. JOHN DINO DENIS         [tko-3]
6. LEROY BOONE               [tko-6]
7. JIMMY YOUNG               [tko-4]
8. RON LYLE                        [ko-1]
9. KEN NORTON                 [tko-1]
10. LARRY HOLMES           [tko-by-13] {WBC Heavy Title}
11. PHILLIP BROWN           [tko-4]
12. GEORGE CHAPLIN        [tko-2]
13. EDDIE GREGG                [ko-1]
14. MICHAEL SPINKS        [tko-by-5]
15. GEORGE FOREMAN     [tko-by-2] (*Cooney's LAST Pro Bout)


1. Larry Derrick           [RSC-3] (1973 NYGG)
2. Earlous Tripp            [w-3] (1973 NYGG)                       

Training and Exhibitions:

1. Wesley Watson (Exhibition)
Other Stuff:

a) Michael Spinks Pre-fight "stuff": d131(Short Clips)
b) Weigh In (vs. Foreman)
c) Fightin' Words (1 Min.)
d) Visit on ESPN2 FNF  (4 Min.)
e) IN THIS CORNER: GERRY COONEY (hosted by James Smith)(22 Min.)

Contact Me: The Boxing Guru via E-mail

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