||6 ft 6 in
|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
||Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Gerry Cooney is a retired Irish-American professional boxer from Huntington, New York best known for his loss to Larry Holmes and defeat of ex-champion/contender Ken Norton. Known for his big left-hook and his imposing size, the tall, lean Cooney had his first paid fight on February 15, 1977, beating Billy Jackson by a knockout in one round.
Nine wins followed and Cooney gained attention as a future contender. Although his opponents were carefully chosen. He moved up a weight class and fought future world cruiserweight champion S.T. Gordon in Las Vegas, winning by a fourth round disqualification. Cooney had 11 more wins, spanning 1978 and 1979. Among those he defeated were Charlie Polite, former US heavyweight champion Eddie Lopez, and Tom Prater. These were not rated contenders however. By 1980, Cooney was being featured on national television. Stepping up he beat one time title challengers Jimmy Young and Ron Lyle, both by 'knockout,' although the Young fight was stopped because of cuts sustained by Young. By now he was ranked number 1 by the WBC and eager for a match with champion Larry Holmes. In 1981, he defeated former world heavyweight champion Ken Norton by a knockout just 54 seconds into the first round with a blisteringly powerful attack. This broke the record set in 1948 by Lee Savold for the quickest knockout in a main event in Madison Square Garden. Since his management team was unwilling to risk losing a big future pay day with Holmes by having him face another viable fighter, Cooney did not fight for 13 months after defeating Norton.
Cooney had an orthodox style, with a good jab, a lethal left hook, but seldom used his right. Most of his fights ended in quick knockouts; while this benefited him in the beginning of his career, it left him unprepared for his fight with Larry Holmes. Despite his devastating punching power, Cooney's moderate stamina and lack of experience proved to be his downfall. Many feel he had real potential, but was limited by his lack of experience.