Gerry Cooney



In the wild and wicked world of boxing, Gerry Cooney is a rarity: a fighter who has enjoyed success in and out of the ring. As a world-class heavyweight, Cooney advanced to No. 1 contender. In 1982, he challenged Larry Holmes in one of the most anticipated title fights in history. As a businessman, Cooney has promoted championship boxing shows, owned shares of several minor league baseball teams and founded F.I.S.T. (the Fighters’ Initiative for Support and Training), a nonprofit organization that helped boxers make the transition from the ring to the real world by providing job readiness, training and career assistance.

Cooney was born in New York City on Aug. 24, 1956, and raised in Huntington, Long Island. His amateur boxing career was highlighted by a pair of New York Golden Gloves titles and an invitation to the 1976 Olympic trials. His overall amateur record was 55–3. Standing 6’6” and scaling 225 pounds, Cooney turned professional in 1977. He won his first 25 bouts, including knockout victories over former world champion Ken Norton and perennial contenders Ron Lyle and Jimmy Young. On June 11, 1982, before a crowd of 32,000 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Cooney faced the unbeaten WBC World Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes in a title fight of such magnitude that it was hyped on the cover of “Time.” Cooney fought valiantly before suffering defeat in round 13. The bout drew a then-record gate of $7.29 million.

Cooney went on to engage in high-profile bouts versus Michael Spinks and George Foreman. He retired in 1990, having compiled a pro mark of 28–3 with 24 knockouts, and was ranked 53rd on “Ring” magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. Cooney has maintained close ties to boxing. From 1988 to 1992, he served as president of Gentleman Gerry Productions, promoting bouts involving ring legends Roberto Duran, Hector Camacho and Foreman.

Today, Cooney lends his support to various charities and is often sought out to tell his story. He is a vocal advocate against domestic violence and the harms of drugs and alcohol. On Monday and Friday nights, he cohosts a boxing radio show, “Friday Night at the Fights,” on Sirius radio. In his free time, Cooney enjoys golf and teaches boxing. He resides in New Jersey with his wife, Jennifer. They have three children.

“I've been sober since April 21, 1988. I lost the boxing world heavyweight championship on a bottle of Scotch a day. My oldest son was on the way, and I knew I had to make a change. I was watching TV and saw an ad for the Seafield Center in Long Island. I called and got the owner, George Benedict, on the phone and said, 'I think I may have a problem.' That's where my journey began. The 12 steps made me take a good look at myself, and I've never looked back. Thirty-five years later, I still work the steps, and I help other people.”
Gerry Cooney


GERRY COONEY | Fighting Larry Holmes, befriending Ali, battling addiction, and 'The Simpsons' fame.


Gerry Cooney Documentary (REVISED) - Heavyweight Knockout Artist of the 1980s fame.


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