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Gerry Cooney

Retired Boxer



What was your favorite part about being a boxer?

I grew up in a life where I learned not to trust anybody.  I was the guy who would pick sports like wrestling and boxing, where I only needed to rely on myself.


How has boxing changed since you stopped fighting?

In America, we lost it.  There is a lot in Mexico and Europe now.  It has drifted away a bit in the US.   Nobody really wants to train hard, fight, and learn the skill.  A lot of the great trainers have passed on.  There not teaching real boxing anymore.


What advice do you have for an aspiring boxer?

Find a good teacher, train hard, and watch everything you can in the gym.  Apply this to your life.  I go to an orphanage twice a week.  I teach the kids boxing but more importantly I teach them life skills.  There are a lot of options in boxing.  If you can learn to fight, you can learn to do anything.  You also need to follow your dream.


Who were your heroes growing up?

I loved Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Jake Lamotta.  There have been so many guys - Willie Pep, Sandy Saddler, Roberto Duran, Ray Robinson, and Rocky Marciano.


Who was the toughest fighter you ever faced?

The toughest fighter I ever faced was me.  But, in the ring, it was Larry Holmes.  I went 13 rounds with him in a great fight.  I lost in the 13th rounds.


What was your favorite subject in school?

I loved social studies, math and gym.


What current fighter fights most like you did?

I don't know.  I don't know that their is anyone.  I liked body punching.  Most fighters don't body punch, they are head hunters.  I would work the body, get the guy's hands down, and then go for the knockout.


What do you think about MMA?

I think it is too barbaric.  Your body can not absorb a knee or elbow to the head.  Most of the really good guys don't last more than a couple of years, because your body and joints can't absorb that punishment.  When your ball joints go out in the car, you take it to service and they put in new ball joints.  But when you're fighting and your joints start to go and you're banging your brain, you can't change it.


Which current fighters do you like to watch?

I love to watch (Manny) Pacquiao and Glenn Johnson.  There is a super middleweight tournament and most of those guys are very good and exciting to watch.  You know, boxing is a business.  You have to be putting back into the business to keep it moving on.  For the past 10-15 years, it has been raped and robbed.  It is going to take some time to get it back to where it was.