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Old 12-30-2008, 08:46 PM   #16
JohnThomas1
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

Some finer points for you Rico

Gerry Cooney came along at the right time.

Boxing was looking for a Heavyweight superstar to catch the imagination because Holmes, on the whole, hadn't. He had the unfortunate (and impossible) burden of following the enigma that was Ali, and he just couldn't fill the void.

Holmes was outspoken for starters, and his bitterness only served to alienate him further from the audience with whom he clamoured so much for his "due". He had zero of Ali's charisma and flair and was seen as boring and not that talented for the longest time by a demanding public.

Cooney was (big point here too)white, and he was also exciting and totally destructive at that time. He was a massive puncher, and massive punchers inspire fear and awe. He was like a breath of fresh air right at that time in a division crying out for a champion they could love, or at least get excited over. Cooney had a real story behind him too.

Why do i ramble all this? Because a lot of this added up to Holmes being immensely underrated, both by the public and the experts. Cooney, by the same token, partly due to the excitement he caused and public yearning was in retrospect somewhat overrated tho certainly a fine fine challenger.

Looking back it is incredible just how many experts took Cooney. But as i say he had caused some real havoc vs bad to good opposition and it was the [i]way[i] he was knocking people over too.

I'll see if i can find some predictions in a day or so, i have a mag here somewhere with heaps of em.

Big Book of Boxing read this fight like a book, and predicted as if they had a crystal ball.

I was very raw to boxing, and watched this fight live on free tv. As long as the undercard including Page - Berbick, Gomez - Lopez (i think it was)

Holmes showed that tho he could never replace Ali he was a worth heir apparent in the ring, where his sterling skills finally began to be fully appreciated.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:39 PM   #17
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

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Originally Posted by JohnThomas1 View Post
Some finer points for you Rico

Gerry Cooney came along at the right time.

Boxing was looking for a Heavyweight superstar to catch the imagination because Holmes, on the whole, hadn't. He had the unfortunate (and impossible) burden of following the enigma that was Ali, and he just couldn't fill the void.

Holmes was outspoken for starters, and his bitterness only served to alienate him further from the audience with whom he clamoured so much for his "due". He had zero of Ali's charisma and flair and was seen as boring and not that talented for the longest time by a demanding public.

Cooney was (big point here too)white, and he was also exciting and totally destructive at that time. He was a massive puncher, and massive punchers inspire fear and awe. He was like a breath of fresh air right at that time in a division crying out for a champion they could love, or at least get excited over. Cooney had a real story behind him too.

Why do i ramble all this? Because a lot of this added up to Holmes being immensely underrated, both by the public and the experts. Cooney, by the same token, partly due to the excitement he caused and public yearning was in retrospect somewhat overrated tho certainly a fine fine challenger.

Looking back it is incredible just how many experts took Cooney. But as i say he had caused some real havoc vs bad to good opposition and it was the [i]way[i] he was knocking people over too.

I'll see if i can find some predictions in a day or so, i have a mag here somewhere with heaps of em.

Big Book of Boxing read this fight like a book, and predicted as if they had a crystal ball.

I was very raw to boxing, and watched this fight live on free tv. As long as the undercard including Page - Berbick, Gomez - Lopez (i think it was)

Holmes showed that tho he could never replace Ali he was a worth heir apparent in the ring, where his sterling skills finally began to be fully appreciated.

Nice post,

Its a shame that Holmes did not win a fight of the Cooney magnitude until 4 years into his reign. His battle with Gerry was quite possibly the last peak performance of his career, before begining his downward spiral.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

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Originally Posted by mr. magoo View Post
I think the general reasoning behind some folks picking Cooney was that he had made short work of guys like Norton, Lyle and Young while Holmes was barely gotten by Norton along with others namely, Weaver, Berbick and Shavers. Additionally, Cooney was 7 years younger and had a 4 inch height advantage. What people had overlooked however, was that his managment had failed to keep him busy during the most critical developmental period of his career. From 1980 to 1982, Cooney had fought but one time, consisting of his 55 second destruction of Norton, which incidently occurred 13 months prior to the Holmes fight. What's more, he had never been beyond 8 rounds, and had only gone beyond 5 on a handful of occasions.
True dat.... Cooney's KO's over "Young, Lyle & Norton" intoxicated the Casual public who was willing to pay for the fight between "Holmes & Cooney" in 1982... Cooney really made his name off of washed-up guys, while Larry Holmes beat all the contenders / pretenders leading into 1982 as champion....Holmes was proven; Cooney was not......

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Old 12-30-2008, 10:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

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I thought the drug and alcohol use was after the Holmes fight. Were there problems before the Holmes fight with this?

I also read where his trainer Victor Valle said after he KOed Norton it was hard to get Cooney to train hard he thought he could just show up and KO people.

his biggest drug problems were right before Holmes he went into rehab and the Waco twins(his Managers) figured they better get that payday
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:25 PM   #20
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

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his biggest drug problems were right before Holmes he went into rehab and the Waco twins(his Managers) figured they better get that payday

What's the source for this one Bummy? I thought it was after, but might be wrong.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:31 PM   #21
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

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I saw the excellent HBO documentary "Legendary nights: the tale of Holmes-Cooney", and Cooney said he had never gone past 8, and how this put some doubt and insecurity in his mind, because he knew it was likely to go into the late rounds, so he was holding back a bit but was inexperienced in how to pace himself.

By the way, have you ever seen Cooney in the New York amateurs?






I wasn't around at the time, but my hindsight judgment is that Cooney was very talented fighter, and although he hadn't beaten many live contenders, he did look devastating against the likes of Young, Lyle and Norton. Particularly the Norton fight, was as brutal a slaughter as you can get, almost similar to Mercer-Morisson. The way he was wacking Norton in that ringpost with big shots, that was no Gentleman in there. Memorable sight. I've never seen the Lyle fight though.

I agree with Bummy here; a few more fights and perhaps a different trainer could've honed his skills better. Not just experience in longer fights, but i think he could've been quite a good boxer. He had all the physical tools: quick handspeed, long reach and devastating power to boot. Against Holmes, he relied too much on landing the hook, or even a one-punch KO... which is asking for disaster, especially against such a disciplined guy like Larry. Against Young he seemed to box fairly well, but he never sustained the upward arc of developing that because he had only a few fights between 80-82 and then got in there with the Champ.....

Like Quarry he didn't have the nicest of fathers and went into alcohol/depression when his career went bad. I think he recovered pretty well though, and he sounds/looks pretty healthy these days. He comes across as a good guy.
Cooney was a southpaw in the amatuers, I saw him win the middleweight golden gloves then went on to get stopped by Johhny Davis for the lightheavyweight Gloves...Gerry was a tall awkward fighter with a powerfull hook but frail for a big man with legs like a baby dear, he grew into a solid but frail in areas Big man but his hook to the body and head were awsome but he had no right (a big Frazier but Frail lanky legs) and when the big man go down it is true...The bigger they are the harder to rise....timing and confidence is important for a fighters self esteem and we all know what that could mean in a time of crisis
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:27 AM   #22
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

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Ironicaly Larry Holmes lost money betting on Cooney at least twice after that fight.
This is very much true: He said he lost 10,000 on Cooney when he lost to Spinks, and something like 50,000 when Foreman KO'd Cooney into retirement.

Many people picked Cooney to win, I always picked Holmes for the simple reason that Holmes and Cooney were on different galaxies when it came to boxing skills overall.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:11 AM   #23
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

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Originally Posted by mr. magoo View Post
Nice post,

Its a shame that Holmes did not win a fight of the Cooney magnitude until 4 years into his reign. His battle with Gerry was quite possibly the last peak performance of his career, before begining his downward spiral.
Cheers mate


Indeed, but many don't even get the chance too. This fight was, as far as i know, the biggest ever up until it's time. Unfortunately for Larry Cooney is now remembered in perspective, but Larry has found his true respect in the long run.

Many too picked Leon Spinks over Holmes i believe. Turns out he was an easy fight really for peak Holmes. I'm not convinced the Spinks Holmes beat was much worse than the one that beat the sleeping Ali.

Ideally all the greats would face some sort of barometer. A guy like Ali was lucky enough to face at least 3, while Holmes it could be argued faced none. SRL got to face many. Foster was caught in an average division whilst a Charles back in the day had it packed.


Little wonder we get so excited about dream matches in here
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:21 AM   #24
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

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What's the source for this one Bummy? I thought it was after, but might be wrong.
Just checked all my sources (Cooney's own words being one of them) and the drug and alchohol problems were caused by depression from the Holmes loss and actually occurred after the bout.

You might have the Spinks fight in mind, Cooney was pissed and high the night before the fight.
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:40 PM   #25
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

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What's the source for this one Bummy? I thought it was after, but might be wrong.

I had a friends who owned clubs In NY(long Island) Gerry frequented them and I also knew many people on the inside fight game from the L.I. area...Gerry was there one night drinking and made severel trips to powder his nose...the guys in the club knew it and I was there one night, I had an interest in the club and was given the lowdown from the owners and workers. I also had friends who were close to his management and Gerry and his brother Tom ( who won the NY golden Gloves were both sent to rehab for heavy COKE use.....this was before the Holmes fight...I also know another well known fighter who shared a LIMO with Gerry and the mix of alcohal and drugs were evident early on. I dont need to say how many fighters (Michael Dokes) and others that had there careers shortened by drug use. The managers wanted to get him a shot at the title before something happened. without mentioning names many people were aware of Conney's drug use
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:54 PM   #26
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

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Cheers mate


Indeed, but many don't even get the chance too. This fight was, as far as i know, the biggest ever up until it's time. Unfortunately for Larry Cooney is now remembered in perspective, but Larry has found his true respect in the long run.

Many too picked Leon Spinks over Holmes i believe. Turns out he was an easy fight really for peak Holmes. I'm not convinced the Spinks Holmes beat was much worse than the one that beat the sleeping Ali.

Ideally all the greats would face some sort of barometer. A guy like Ali was lucky enough to face at least 3, while Holmes it could be argued faced none. SRL got to face many. Foster was caught in an average division whilst a Charles back in the day had it packed.


Little wonder we get so excited about dream matches in here

No one picked Spinks to win over Larry, Spinks was bombed out in 1 round in 1979 right after the Ali fight and fought a draw with Eddie Lopez, he had a win over Bernard Mercado but Mercado was no great shake( he was stopped by Tate in 2 and Weaver in 5) anyway Holmes stopped Spinks in 3 but Coetzee stopped him in 1 two years earlier.....and Spinks was another Coke HO
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:25 PM   #27
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

Cooney being an Irish man always loved his drink...... Many fighters do..... But, I believe the funny white lines didn't appear until after the '82 fight with Larry holmes and that 10 million dollar purse was resting in his bank.... Cooney's comeback fights against "Brown, Chaplin & Gregg" in '84 thru 1986 didn't prove Jack Spit....

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Old 01-01-2009, 07:17 PM   #28
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

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Originally Posted by Bummy Davis View Post
I had a friends who owned clubs In NY(long Island) Gerry frequented them and I also knew many people on the inside fight game from the L.I. area...Gerry was there one night drinking and made severel trips to powder his nose...the guys in the club knew it and I was there one night, I had an interest in the club and was given the lowdown from the owners and workers. I also had friends who were close to his management and Gerry and his brother Tom ( who won the NY golden Gloves were both sent to rehab for heavy COKE use.....this was before the Holmes fight...I also know another well known fighter who shared a LIMO with Gerry and the mix of alcohal and drugs were evident early on. I dont need to say how many fighters (Michael Dokes) and others that had there careers shortened by drug use. The managers wanted to get him a shot at the title before something happened. without mentioning names many people were aware of Conney's drug use
Cheers mate.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:26 PM   #29
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

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No one picked Spinks to win over Larry, Spinks was bombed out in 1 round in 1979 right after the Ali fight and fought a draw with Eddie Lopez, he had a win over Bernard Mercado but Mercado was no great shake( he was stopped by Tate in 2 and Weaver in 5) anyway Holmes stopped Spinks in 3 but Coetzee stopped him in 1 two years earlier.....and Spinks was another Coke HO

Well there's Ali for starters, and i am sure i've seen at least one other.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:18 PM   #30
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Default Re: Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney

Where I'm from this fight kind of raised racial tensions simply because Cooney was white. Caucasions got behind Cooney and made it known, a few innapropriate things were said. Afterwords, it was all forgotten.
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