Gerry Cooney is a retired American professional heavyweight boxer….who despite relative inexperience propelled his career into a lucrative bout with world heavyweight champion Larry Holmes in 1982….thanks to his size and hitting power….and the fact that he was for all intent purposes….the next great white hope in the heavyweight division. Cooney performed credibly before his corner stopped the fight in the 13th round…. and was regarded as having made a brave and determined effort. A view of him as tactically naive in defense was reinforced when former light-heavyweight Michael Spinks defeated Cooney in five rounds. In his final bout, he demonstrated his exceptionally hard punch by staggering powerful George Foreman….but was unable to capitalize on it….again showing himself deficient at basic self-protection,…as Cooney suffered a devastating second round knockout that ended his career.
The losses to Holmes, Spinks, and Foreman exposed Cooney’s Achilles’ heel: his inability to clinch and tie up his opponent when hurt. In the Foreman fight, he rose from a second-round knockdown and simply stood in the center of the ring as Foreman delivered the coup de grâce. Cooney compiled a professional record of 28 wins and 3 losses, with 24 knockouts. He is ranked number 53 on Ring Magazine‘s list of “100 Greatest Punchers of All Time”