Issue | Opinion | Premium | Jul 02 2019

Gerry Cooney on the most important lesson he ever learned

In his own words Gerry Cooney reflects on the heavyweight division today and in his own time
Gerry Cooney
Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports

I identify in some ways with Dillian Whyte. He was used as the guy to test all these fighters out. And he’s supposed to get his shot but they’re all avoiding him. Everyone is ignoring him, even the sanctioning bodies. He’s the mandatory and he’s still not getting the fights he deserves.

In my day, Don King owned everybody. I couldn’t get the fights because he owned everybody and I wouldn’t sign with him. At the time I needed four or five of those guys to gain the experience so when I fought Larry Holmes I had a better shot. But I didn’t get that experience.

I was fighting once a year in my heyday and that sucked. It made me get distracted, made me get in trouble. It’s a frustrating, downheartening situation. Almost like they do it to wear you down purposely.

Gerry Cooney
Cooney did not feel prepared for Holmes Action Images