September 3, 2016
September 3, 2016
Gerry Cooney

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HARDEST HITTER I FOUGHT

“I FOUGHT a lot of them, but the hardest hitter was a guy I met right at the end of my career: George Foreman. He was just a powerful, powerful man. He wasn’t too fast but his hands were so heavy – and he was extremely accurate with his combinations that night. But I wasn’t a young kid when I fought Foreman, I was at the end of my career by then.”

MY TOUGHEST NIGHT

“IT was also one of the fights I’m most proud of – the fight with Larry Holmes. It was a great fight, we went back and forth, and it was very close until the [13th-round] stoppage. But it was hard. It was 115 degrees that night in Las Vegas and I was rusty as I hadn’t fought in 15 months. I wanted to be more active, to give myself a better chance, but I wouldn’t sign with Don King and he controlled all the top heavyweights back then.”

MY GREATEST NIGHT

“I HAD lots, a number of them on the way up. Dino Dennis was a good night for me, [Eddie] Animal Lopez was a great night, also my win over Jimmy Young. If I had to name just one, obviously the KO over Kenny Norton was memorable – and devastating. Even today that fight is hard to watch – for me and for the fans; lots of them have told me that. I took him out in 54 seconds in my first big fight at The Garden.”

BEST I SPARRED

“I WORKED with a lot of talented guys in the gym: Duane Bobick, Roy Williams and others. But the best I sparred was Tim Witherspoon. He was a young kid at the time [ahead of the Holmes fight] and we only did two days together. But he gave me great work. He was a talented kid and of course he went on to become a champion himself.”

MY WORST NIGHT

“THE Holmes fight. But it was also a great night in many ways. I just regret that I had to enter that fight having had so much inactivity. Also, I was drinking quite a bit at the time. I had an alcohol problem and that affected me also. Taking everything into account all these years later, I definitely think that if I’d had another year to get ready, with an additional three or four fights against top guys, I’d have beaten Holmes.”

HARDEST PART OF RETIREMENT

“THERE is nothing hard about being retired! Nothing at all. I have a great life. I come and go when I want, I have a great family. I help people out with a lot of charity work, which I really enjoy; giving something back. I still train and box at times [to keep fit]. I keep in touch with the boxing game and have my own radio show. I’m extremely fortunate. I have no regrets other than I wish I’d been way more active in my career.”