Could Gerry Cooney’s Comeback Have Been Successful?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Charles White, May 9, 2022.

  1. Charles White

    Charles White Chucker Full Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    If Cooney had not jumped into a fight with Big George right away, but taken his time to work his way up in competition and maybe even avoid Foreman altogether, could he have had a successful comeback?

    Who would you have liked to have seen him fight at the time and were there any big names that he could have beaten at that point?
    cross_trainer likes this.
  2. Fergy

    Fergy Walking Dead Full Member

    Jan 8, 2017
    It's a pity he didn't take his time, build himself back up, then get a phone call to be busters first defence..
  3. channy

    channy 4.7.33 Full Member

    Feb 2, 2015
    Very good!!
    Fergy and cross_trainer like this.
  4. The Long Count

    The Long Count Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Oct 8, 2013
    Funny but true. Gerry was very marketable boxer the fight with Foreman occurred in January and Buster won in February. Had Gerry fought a tomato can and won, I could see him landing that fight if Buster could somehow get Holyfield out of the way.
  5. NoNeck

    NoNeck Pugilist Specialist Full Member

    Apr 3, 2012
    I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Cooney beating bums, then getting a ko1 over a version of Dokes who could barely climb in the ring, and following it up by getting his ass kicked by Bowe for a comically large purse.
    Last edited: May 9, 2022
    cross_trainer and The Long Count like this.
  6. Entaowed

    Entaowed Boxing Addict Full Member

    Dec 16, 2012
    Unless he straightened out his substance abuse & drinking issues he was never going to get too far again.
    But his marketability could have gotten him something like that "Nowe" fight lol!
    If he was totally dedicated including to fixing his psychological problems, his ceiling would be higher.
    But I dunno if he was ever gonna be a lasting champion...

    Maybe if he also became a more 2 handed fighter.
  7. Bhoybuudy43

    Bhoybuudy43 Member Full Member

    Feb 22, 2022
    Had he quickly realised that he wasn’t ready for the fight with Holmes and ditched those pair of sharks, he could have gently built himself up again with a steadily improving list of fighters, from where he would be good enough to win a world title at some stage.
    The main problem would have always been his inability to withstand a heavy shot.
    swagdelfadeel likes this.
  8. Charles White

    Charles White Chucker Full Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    By the time of the Foreman fight, Cooney had beaten his addictions and was a couple years sober if I recall correctly.
    Jake Speed and The G-Man like this.
  9. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    It was never his intent to launch a comeback. Cooney was done with boxing. He only took the foreman fight for the hefty paycheck that came with it. Had he somehow managed to beat George he would have sat back and waited for the next lucrative phone call. No way was he ever going to embark on a full comeback campaign where he’d be fighting 5-6 times per year as Holmes and Foreman did….

    using our imagination, if Cooney HAD decided to comeback in 1990 by slowly building himself up again, there were definitely plenty of hand picked journeyman and gatekeepers that he probably still could have beaten. In fact he might even have had a chance against a fringe Adilson Rodriguez or the aged Greg Page who lost to mark wills in 1990. Tyrell Biggs might have been another possibility. In the end he falls short of world status but might have retired with a better record and a few more bucks.

    CANNONBALL Active Member Full Member

    Mar 18, 2007
    this is how i would have matched Cooney in his comeback

    Ken Lakusta
    David Jaco
    Mark Young
    Wimpy Halstead

    James Pritchard
    Melton Bowen
    Mike Weaver
    Mike White (a huge target for Cooney's power shots and pretty harmless despite his size)
    Adilson Rodriguez

    Alex Stewart
    then maybe a big money cash out against the likes of a Moorer or Morrison
  11. Charles White

    Charles White Chucker Full Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    I love how you laid out a 3 year game plan for Cooney, thank you. This is the kind of post/discussion I was hoping for. How do you see this version of Cooney doing against the likes of Stewart, Morrison, and Moorer?
    cross_trainer likes this.
  12. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    If by successful you mean winning a world title, no, I don't see Cooney doing that in the 90s.

    Could he string together some wins against no-hopers on the USA Tuesday Night Fights, yes. Could he pad his record and make a couple bucks, sure.

    Lots of 70s/80s heavyweights made comebacks in the 90s for a little while (Foreman/Holmes/"Aussie" Joe Bugner/Tubbs/Dokes/Lyle/Quarry even tried). But it only panned out for George. And Cooney wasn't as good as George.

    Cooney's best shot was against Michael Spinks, and he failed miserably.

    Nobody was going to "gift" him any title shots after that.
    cross_trainer likes this.
  13. Scott Cork

    Scott Cork Well-Known Member Full Member

    Feb 3, 2021
    I can see Cooney beating Seldon, Bentt and Hide
  14. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    I could see Cooney beating Michael "Bad Knees" Spinks, but he didn't.

    Cooney never won a fight after he turned 30. By the time those guys had belts, Cooney would've been 38 or 39.

    If Cooney was going to win a title, he'd have beaten Spinks. He got destroyed.

    He wasn't beating anyone of note in the 90s. I doubt he'd get through all the hand-picked nobodies they fed him.

    If Cooney was going to become champ, he would've. He wasn't deprived. Trying to find the softest titlist possible wasn't going to help. Bentt destroyed Morrison to win his belt. Seldon beat the hell out of Tucker to win his. Hide destroyed Bentt and Tucker to win his.

    39-year-old Cooney isn't walking over them or anyone else.
  15. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    Let's imagine that Gerry Cooney aquires quality management, maybe an Emmanuel Steward or a Kevin Rooney as trainers. I think that Cooney could have been rebuilt into a very good quality fighter. His first management team was consumed by greed, protecting him from the more dangerous peak contenders, afraid of jeopardizing the title fight with WBC Champion Larry Holmes in 1982. I think with better management he learns the fundamentals of boxing , better competition, and ring generalship. I think that he is even victorious against George Foreman in January 1990.
    Last edited: May 10, 2022