If Gerry Cooney didn't fight Larry Holmes in 1982 and picked on older and unranked

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Mendoza, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    If Gerry Cooney didn't fight Larry Holmes and picked on the un-ranked for title defenses, how might his career look?

    I think its a very interesting question. Cooney put up a solid effort vs. Holmes, but suppose his management steered him towards an easier alphabet title in 1980, vs Ali. ( Cooney beat Lyle instead in 1980 ). Cooney's management badly wanted a fight with Ali, I don't think Ali at this point had enough to beat Cooney, so Cooney wins the lineal championship on that night.

    1st title defense: Ken Norton 1981 ( we saw how that one went )
    2nd title defense Joe Frazier 1982 , fresh off his draw to Jumbo Cummings.
    3rd title defense, 4th title defense and 5th title defense. Cooney picks more old men, or unranked guys, similar to Wilder.
    Fast forward to 1985 Cooney finally fights Holmes ( Instead of Spinks ) who's now 35, while Cooney is 28.

    Being the attraction, I think it's likely Cooney could have had this lined up, if he had better management. Who else thinks Cooney could have accomplished this?
     
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  2. George Crowcroft

    George Crowcroft 'Snarky Little Gobshite' - IntentionalButt Full Member

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  3. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I don't think that the scenario is very likely.
     
  4. The Long Count

    The Long Count Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    It’s an insult to compare Gerry to Wilder. Wilder is the most coddled heavyweight I have ever witnessed. Cooney fought Holmes at either 25, 26 years old, I don’t even know if Wilder was fighting plus .500 fighters at this age and he was an Olympic medalist.
    Any way on to your point. Yes Cooney’s team offered Ali 1 million for a fight and Ali’s team wisely turned it down. Would of been bad for Ali.
    After Ali - I don’t know where he goes - I don’t think he could fight anymore previous generation greats - they hype was already out of control. Doubt Frazier ever fights a again he knew it was over after Cummings.
    I think Cooney would have to fight weaver or page. Winnable fights but no locks.
    Cooney was very good around 1980 it’s a shame his career was managed the way it was-The Young bout was his best win - Jimmy was in shape and people forget he won 5 fights in a row After that bout and was rings comeback fighter of the year. It’s a good win. Destroying Norton at the garden is the coming out party every promoter wishes his fighter could accomplish. In comparison Wilder was being lined up guys likes Molina and Duhaupas in attempt to look like what Gerry did to Norton and he couldn’t accomplish it. Then Gerry gave Larry a great fight but was outclassed and outsmarted by an ATG in their prime no shame.
    After that Cooney was done - alcohol, drugs, confidence issues all took a toll, his career sputtered for 6 years he looked like crap against Spinks and that forever labeled him a hype job and white hope label. I disagree I think Cooney was the second best heavy from 1979-1982 not bad but he was too much of a valuable commodity (White american) to have his gravy train risked in being picked off by a dangerous opponent. Hurts his legacy but he still gave us some great performances Norton, Lyle, Young and Holmes in a losing effort.
     
  5. Ken Ashcroft

    Ken Ashcroft Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I've already mentioned in another thread recently that Larry himself in interviews thought that Cooney would have been champion had he fought anyone else but himself (Larry) around that time period. It may well be Holmes just boosting his own ego up or he might just be saying it because he and Gerry have become very friends in the last few years but maybe he right to compare Cooney chances favourably with the other leading fighters if the day?
     
  6. Bummy Davis

    Bummy Davis Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    What people don't mention about Cooney is that he had 2 -1st round KO's from 5-25-1980 where he tko'd Jimmy young in 4 rds until 6-11-1982 - Gerry Cooney had 2 1st- round KO's, for a fighter that had confidence issues and never fought past 8 rounds fighting a seasoned fighter like Holmes (who had a weakness getting hit with right hands not Left hooks) may have not been his best choice

    I remember watching a 6'6 Cooney win the middleweight golden gloves in the amateurs in NY and I also remember him getting tko'd as a 6'6 light heavyweight to Eddie Davis in NY - I watched Gerry live many times and one thing I must say he had great power in his left hand -body & head shot tremendous power but Gerry had absolutely no power in his right hand.

    I think Gerry would have had a better chance against Weaver or Dokes or one of the other Champs- Holmes had a smart corner and knew there was only one hand to stay away from. I think confidence would have helped Gerry and he could have improved ( he was a good fighter) but he also had some issues with drinking and some say cocaine at the time so his managers may have been looking to cash in.

    He was a one armed fighter even more so than another converted southpaw Joe Frazier but I have to say Cooney had one of the best left hooks I have seen
     
  7. The Morlocks

    The Morlocks Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Once again, you COONEY LOONEYS really r a story onto yourselves. You smell of desperation in a quest to raise up your boy. It is pathetic yet hysterical. Like watching a car wreck.
     
  8. The Long Count

    The Long Count Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Imagine had Cooney defeated Spinks and ended up in the Tyson fight. He wouldn’t of done much better than Spinks but it would of been a fire fight before it ended.
     
  9. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I agree, I think 1982 Weaver would have fallen against Cooney. Not too sure about the Coetzee-smashing Weaver, though. I think that Mike might have caught Gerry, especially if the fight went past 4 rounds. And yeah, Dokes couldn't have taken the Cooney power imo.

    The problem for Gerry at that time was Page and Berbick (the latter who, though dominated, took prime Holmes the full 15). I'm not confident Gerry could have beaten them. Page had just enough slick to outpoint him over 10, and Berbick was just awkward enough to do the same. The thing that stood in GC's favor during the Holmes fight was how good he did (comparatively) past the 10th round against Larry. He was starting to unravel, but he caught Holmes with good punches and comported himself ok in rounds 11 and 12. I get the feeling Page at least would have started wilting and got stopped if the fight were a 12 rounder.
     
  10. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    If events would have folded out as the OP questions then I think his chances against a 1985 Holmes would have been better than what actually happened in 1982. The problem is I don’t think the suggested career trajectory would have panned out that way
     
  11. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Agree. Fun fight to watch for a brief time
     
  12. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    I think Conney would have beaten the Ali that fought Holmes. Put some older past their best names on his resume, then wait until Holmes ages, and he might very well be remember differently.
     
  13. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    If he could have gotten the Ali and Frazier fights. It’s unlikely that those guys would have taken that match unless they were receiving an exorbitant amount of money and a title shot. Then there’s also the issue of Cooney staying clean, sober and focused all the way through 1985. And suppose he makes it to 1985 and was a highly ranked contender and a viewed threat... Would Holmes even face him at that point given his tendency to cherry pick at that point ?
     
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  14. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    I think Frazier was prideful enough to fight Cooney for the title, even after the Cummings draw. Ali declined Cooney, but with a bigger offer, who knows. I think Ali was close to broke at the time.

    Had Cooney beat Ali, he would have been riding high, not hitting the bottle. As it was the Holmes loss was depressing for Cooney. Depressed people seek out the bootle as an escape. People who are happy use it to party. There's a difference.

    Holmes was always about the money, Yeah, I think he would have faced Cooney in 1985. Two undefeated champions with Holmes about to break Marciano's record in the backdrop? That would have been a huge event, even bigger than Holmes vs Cooney in 1982.
     
  15. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    you don’t know why Cooney did what he did in his own personal life. People drink and use drugs for all different reasons and a person who uses for fun is just as much at risk for addiction as someone who uses it to fill a void caused by anger, depression or anxiety. Cooney was already partying before he even fought Holmes. Afterwards he had 10 million dollars and a ton of time on his hands