Welcome to another episode of the new Fight City Podcast with its host Alden Chodash. Once again he is joined by the founder and editor of TheFightCity.com, Michael Carbert, as they discuss various topics related to “The Sweet Science,” both past and present. This week: some thoughts on the middleweight division; Alden reports on being ringside for Jacobs vs Derevyanchenko and Hardy vs Vincent in Madison Square Garden; looking back to the “Negro League” of boxing and the legendary Jack Johnson, plus some reflections on the career of Gerry Cooney. Check it out:
“And to this day, the question still lingers: was Gerry Cooney mismanaged? On the one hand, his handlers guided him to a position where he could command a ten million dollar payday and achieve financial security for the rest of his life. On the other, the ordeal of challenging for the heavyweight title in such a charged situation, without adequate experience or the opportunity to develop his talent, ruined him. After the loss, he avoided competing, citing various injuries when bouts were postponed or cancelled, while he was seen as often in nightclubs as in the gym. He eventually developed a drinking problem and later suffered knockout defeats to Michael Spinks and George Foreman before finally retiring.
“Holmes always insisted that Cooney’s difficulties were strictly mental, that there was nothing wrong with him physically or with his ability to take a punch. Foreman claimed that no one had hit him harder than Cooney did in the first round of their 1990 fight. But the fact remains that after his loss to Holmes, Cooney never fulfilled his promise or became a boxer of significance, an intriguing irony since his clash with Larry Holmes stands as one of the most significant bouts in boxing history, a social barometer, no less fascinating for what it revealed about the larger culture than other historic matches such as Louis vs Schmeling II, Ali vs Frazier I, or Jeffries vs Johnson.” — From “June 11, 1982: Holmes vs Cooney” by Michael Carbert