Gerry Cooney

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Gerry Cooney

Name: Gerry Cooney
Alias: Gentleman
Born: 1956-08-04
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, USA
Hometown: Huntington, New York, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 6′ 5″   /   196cm
Reach: 81″   /   206cm
Boxing Record: click

Division: Heavyweight
Trainer: Victor Valle
Manager: Dennis Rappaport and Mike Jones
Gerry Cooney Gallery

Gerry Cooney and Sylvester Stallone on the cover of Time

Gerry Cooney is best remembered for his classic 1982 fight with Larry Holmes for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Cooney was considered to be a White Hope by many critics during his career, but he also acquired a reputation as a knockout artist. In 1980, Cooney stopped Jimmy Young in four rounds, staggering him with left hands and opening a cut with a right, which led to a TKO win. Cooney then stopped Ron Lyle in two minutes forty-nine seconds. After the fight, while he was in his dressing room getting his damaged ribs taped, Lyle said that Cooney was the hardest hitter he had ever faced. In 1981, Cooney brutally stopped Ken Norton in fifty-four seconds.

These victories earned him a shot at World Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes. The Holmes fight had very important racial implications and was promoted to that effect by promoter Don King The bout was one of the most racially toned events in boxing since Jack Johnson fought James J. Jeffries in 1910.

Holmes vs. Cooney broke many Las Vegas records, including for attendance at a Las Vegas fight and money wagered, both at the sportsbooks and tables. Many celebrities of the day were in attendance. It was also reported that United States President Ronald Reagan had promised to call Cooney in his dressing room if he won the fight.

The bout turned out to be a classic war, and Cooney showed his bravery and toughness. He was knocked down in the 2nd round but came back strong, hurting Holmes with a left to the body at the end of the 4th round. The fight was stopped in the 13th round when Cooney's trainer, Victor Valle, entered the ring to prevent Cooney from taking any further punishment. Holmes always maintained that this was one of the toughest bouts of his career.

Following the Holmes loss, Cooney never regained his stature as a top heavyweight contender, as he was hindered with injuries, inactivity, and substance abuse problems. However, he remained popular.

He was stopped in five rounds by Michael Spinks in 1987 in an attempt to win the lineal World Heavyweight Championship. In 1990, Cooney returned to the ring one more time, losing to George Foreman by a 2nd-round knockout.

In retirement, Cooney founded F.I.S.T. (Fighters’ Initiative for Support and Training), an organization to help retired boxers.

New York Golden Gloves

Cooney trained at the Huntington Athletic Club in Huntington, Long Island, New York. His trainer was John Capobianco, Sr.

Cooney won two New York Golden Gloves Championships. He won both the 1973 Middleweight Sub-Novice Championship, defeating Larry Derrick [1]and the 1976 Heavyweight Open Championship, defeating Earlous Tripp.

In 1975, Cooney reached the finals of the Light Heavyweight Open Division but was defeated by Johnny Davis.

In 1973, Tom Cooney, the brother of Gerry, reached the finals of the New York Golden Gloves Sub-Novice Heavyweight Division, where he was defeated by Eric George.