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|Real name||Jerry Quarry|
|Nickname(s)||Irish Jerry Quarry|
The Bellflower Bomber
|Weight(s)|| Heavyweight |
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Born||May 15, 1945|
Bakersfield, California, U.S.
|Died||January 3, 1999 53) (aged|
Templeton, California, U.S.
|Wins by KO||32|
Jerry Quarry (May 15, 1945 – January 3, 1999), nicknamed "Irish" or "The Bellflower Bomber", was an American heavyweight boxer.During the peak of his career from 1968 to 1971, Quarry was rated by Ring magazine as the most popular fighter in the sport. His most famous bouts were against world champions Floyd Patterson, Jimmy Ellis, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton.
Quarry had over 200 fights in his amateur career. He turned professional in 1965 and finished with a record of 53–9–4, with wins over some of the best heavyweights of his era. Quarry was undersized compared to many of his rivals, but very durable and had a great left hook. A recurring problem was that he would sustain cuts easily, which caused many of his fights to be brought to an end. He retired from boxing in 1975, but had comeback fights in 1977, 1983 and 1992.
Quarry had a brief acting career, appearing in a number of television roles, and also played a recurring character on the show Adam-12 . Towards the end of his life the punishment sustained in his boxing career caused Quarry to become a shell of himself. He developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy and required assistance to perform everyday tasks. He was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995, where he gave a slurred speech. He died in 1999, at the young age of 53.
Quarry was from an Irish American family of agricultural laborers in California. His younger brothers Mike and Bobby Quarry also boxed. Mike was a high-ranked contender in the light heavyweight divisionJerry's older brother James was the only Quarry brother not to box. James became a carer for Jerry and set up the Jerry Quarry Foundation, a non-profit that assists disabled boxers.
Quarry was a durable and smart counter-puncher/action fighter. He had speed in both hands, including an excellent left hook. He also was notable for having a remarkable chin. He lost several fights by technical knockout, but was only counted out in one fight (against George Chuvalo). His major flaw as a fighter was a tendency to cut easily. He was also on the smaller side as a heavyweight in this era. Quarry was six feet tall (1.83 metres) and often weighed less than 200 pounds (88 kilograms) for his matches. He also had what was considered very average reach as a boxer at only 72 inches. Today, he would be a cruiserweight, a division he greatly helped to inspire.
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Quarry was the most visible member of a significant Irish-American boxing family, which included three other pro boxers (his father and two brothers). [ citation needed ] In the wake of that unprecedented feat, Quarry began his pro career in May 1965, winning a decision against Gene Hamilton in Los Angeles.Quarry's father first put gloves on his son at five years. His career, he later felt, was decided for him at a very young age. Quarry fought first as a Junior Amateur, winning his first trophies at the age of eight. Later, he contracted nephritis, a debilitating illness which sidelined him for years. His comeback from that illness to become a professional athlete was considered medically remarkable. Quarry came to notice by winning the 1965 National Golden Gloves championship in Kansas City at age 19. Weighing just 183 pounds, Quarry knocked out each of his five opponents in the tournament, a feat unmatched before or since in the history of the tournament.
Despite starting in May, Quarry had 14 matches in 1965 at the start of his pro career. Many of his early career fights took place at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, where he became established as a draw. Quarry supplemented meager boxing pay by working as a tire changer at a Greyhound bus terminal. Quarry was fast handed and an effective counter puncher, but with a tendency to neglect defence and rely on his excellent chin. He had three draws on his record by the time of his first loss, which came in his 21st bout in July 1966 against Eddie Machen, known for his feat of breaking Sonny Liston's run of knockouts. More careful choice of opponents in the following series of fights bought Quarry up in the rankings.
In mid-1967, the World Boxing Association (W.B.A.) held a tournament to replace Muhammad Ali, who had been stripped of his title for refusing induction into the military after being drafted. The tournament was expanded to include eight heavyweights, and did not include Joe Frazier, who had accepted a title belt outside the WBA. When the tournament was expanded, Quarry was included. Quarry's first tournament bout was a rematch of his fourth draw fight earlier that year against former world champion Floyd Patterson. In both matches, Quarry dominated the early rounds with multiple knockdowns of Patterson, but faded in the latter stages. He hung on better in the second bout, and was given a split-decision victory. His second tournament match was a KO win against fellow Californian Thad Spencer, who was highly lauded and ranked coming into the match. In final against crafty ex-middleweight Jimmy Ellis, Quarry was unable to use his unorthodox tactic (displayed to great effect against Patterson) of retreating into the ropes then catching his opponent with a sudden two fisted attack, and lost a close majority decision. After a layoff of six months, Quarry returned after the Ellis loss to post another streak of wins. Notable among these was a lopsided 12-round decision win over 1964 U.S. Olympian Buster Mathis. The win over the ranked (and much bigger) Mathis positioned Quarry for his second title shot.
Joe Frazier had not yet KO'd Ellis, but was considered by many to be the most legitimate heavyweight champion. Quarry met Frazier June, 23rd, 1969 at New York City's Madison Square Garden, where Quarry could count on fan support. The fight was Ring Magazines "Fight of The Year". Frazier and Quarry went head-to-head in the center of the ring in the first round with Quarry throwing caution to the winds and scoring well. But as the bout progressed Frazier's high-tempo pressure came to dominate and the fight was stopped in the 7th round after Quarry, bleeding from the nose and with a very large cut under the eye, took a series of hard punches without moving away or hitting back.
Returning quickly after the loss to Frazier, Quarry won two bouts before meeting Canadian George Chuvalo in December, 1969. The bout against Chuvalo, then unranked would be the subject of controversy. Quarry was well ahead, when in the 7th round, Chuvalo knocked Quarry down. Quarry rose at the count of four, then took a knee but on rising exactly at the count of ten, he found referee Zach Clayton ruled a KO. Quarry appeared as himself in the Season 4 episode of the fantasy sitcom I Dream of Jeannie entitled "The Strongest Man in the World." Quarry's character was hired by NASA to train astronaut Tony "One-Punch" Nelson (Larry Hagman) for the annual Armed Forces Boxing tournament, headed by Gen. Hamilton (Richard X. Slattery). The episode was originally broadcast on November 18, 1968.
Quarry returned quickly after the controversial loss to Chuvalo to post another streak of wins. Noteworthy among them was a 6th-round KO win over fellow Californian Mac Foster. Foster came into the bout ranked #1 with a record of 24-0, with all 24 wins by KO. Quarry was ranked #6, and weighed 195 for the bout. Foster weighed 215. It was a very impressive, dominating win by Quarry which figured to put him back in line for another title shot. At this time, exiled former champion Muhammad Ali had successfully sued to win the right to return as a professional boxer. Ali approached every one of the ten ranked heavyweights for a match. Quarry was the only one willing to face him, and so got the nod for the first bout against Ali in his return. The bout received tremendous publicity and arguably remains today as Quarry's most famous bout.The bout took place at the City Auditorium in Atlanta, Georgia on October 26, 1970. Ali dominated the first two rounds, moving well and scoring with his left jab and combinations. Quarry was able to land only a handful of punches, most of them glancing blows. In the third round, Quarry was badly cut by a right hand over his left eye following an exchange with Ali. Trainer Teddy Bentham, a veteran cut man, realized the cut was too severe for Quarry to continue, even though he argued to continue. Referee Tony Perez waved the bout over before the start of the 4th round, which was ruled a 3rd round technical KO. Quarry disputed the decision and demanded a rematch against Ali, which he would later receive.
Following the loss to Ali, Quarry had his second six-month layoff. He focused on television roles during this period, appearing on a number of television shows. In June, 1971, he returned to start another streak of wins. Noteworthy among them was a revenge of his earlier draw against tall Tony Doyle at the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin with a lopsided decision. He then KO'd British and European champion Jack Bodell in the first round. That fight was held in London. His second fight there during this streak was against Larry Middleton. Middleton was the kind of tall, quick boxer with long reach who often gave Quarry trouble in bouts. Quarry won a very narrow, controversial decision against Middleton. By then, Quarry had lobbied long and hard for a rematch against Ali. He finally was allowed that rematch a month after the Middleton bout. The second bout against Ali, no longer champion at this point, took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center on June 27, 1972. Their match was the headlining bout of a fight card that Ali called "The Soul Brothers Versus The Quarry Brothers." Bob Arum promoted the fight, with Ali playing up the obvious racial differences between his black fighters and the white Quarrys. In an earlier bout, Jerry's brother Mike, a high-ranked light heavyweight contender was KO'd by Light heavyweight champion and devastating puncher Bob Foster, and seriously injured. Ali weighed 216 for their bout, Quarry 198. The bout was eventful. At the opening bell, Quarry rushed Ali, got under his shoulders and lifted him briefly off the canvas before Referee Mike Kaplan separated the fighters. Ali dominated most of the fight, using his jab. Visibly tired at the end of the 6th round, Quarry came out for the seventh and was hit by a half-dozen shots by Ali, who waved the referee in to stop the fight, which Quarry protested. Nevertheless, the fight was stopped in favour of Ali.
The bout was a difficult night for the Quarry family, who were racially insulted by black fight fans and Ali / King supporters. This Ali bout magnified for observers the racial overtones that existed throughout Quarry's career. Greatly supported by white Americans, he had been called a ' white hope ', or " The Great White Hope ". He was also therefore derided by many black American boxing fans of the era for the same reason.
After Ali, Quarry, now managed by Gil Clancy, bounced back to post another streak of wins. He seemed to mature as a fighter here, and 1973 was perhaps his greatest year as a heavyweight.
Despite deterioration in his movement and reflexes, and now having very scarred facial tissue, Quarry gave possibly the two best performances of his career next. After defeating 21-2 Randy Neumann in January, Quarry was placed into a bout similar to his previous Mac Foster match, as a ranked tune-up for a higher ranked contender. Ron Lyle was 19-0 with 17 knockouts, and the tough ex-convict was in line for a title shot when he met Quarry in February. The 6' 3 Lyle weighed 219 for the bout, Quarry 200. Despite trailing early on, Quarry took control of the fight in the middle rounds and, in perhaps his best performance, thoroughly outboxed Lyle for a lopsided 12-round decision win in an action packed fight. During this time, Quarry also got a chance to show off his athletic ability. On the ABC television show " The Superstars ", Quarry competed against other heavyweight boxers in a series of athletic contests. Winning that competition, he qualified for the Superstars final that year, and finished fourth to three NFL football players, an impressive showing. Noteworthy in those performances was his ability to hit a baseball. Two wins later, Don King brought Quarry in to meet hard-punching Earnie Shavers in December. Shavers was 46-2 with 44 KOs. In another bout filled with the same racial overtones as the second Ali bout, Quarry surprised Shavers. After receiving a few hard shots, he landed a big punch in the 1st round and followed that up to win a stunning first-round KO win. The incensed King reportedly left Shavers in the ring and tore up his contract to manage him. Heavyweight champion George Foreman was in attendance, and negotiations for a title bout were already in motion for mid-1974. After the Shavers bout, Foreman reportedly backed away from that proposed bout.He later claimed to have dodged Quarry, who he never formally met in the ring. Quarry later claimed to be ' locked out ' of big-opportunity fights in 1974 by King, and found himself desperately looking for quality opponents that might get him a title shot. In June, 1974, he agreed to rematch Joe Frazier. Quarry was the same size as at their first bout, but Frazier, now 212 pounds, was bigger. Quarry attempted to box Frazier this time, but due to the years of punishment, even in the recent wins against hard hitters Lyle and Shavers, he was more open to Frazier's shots and less mobile than he used to be. Straight away, a determined Frazier began to connect hard punches at the physically diminished Quarry who couldn't muster the movement to evade Frazier. Staggering him with a trademark left hook at the end of the first round, Frazier exposed to the world that Quarry had lost his once great punch resistance. Frazier then began landing solidly with both hands to Quarry's head and body, beginning a sickening beat down. Quarry was already on wobbly legs when Frazier dropped with a hard left hook to the stomach just before the bell ending the 4th round. Quarry was visibly injured by the blow, but tried unsuccessfully to continue. The fight continued, with Frazier backing away from Quarry after opening up bad cuts over both eyes. Joe Louis, however, waved Frazier back on. After landing a few more clean head shots, Louis finally stopped the fight early in the 5th round, a one sided thrashing. Louis never refereed another fight.
Quarry by now was not the same fighter he used to be, his reflexes and punch resistance were much diminished. But he was still a talented big-name that could attract crowds. He had made millions in the ring without ever being champion at a time when few had ever made that much money in boxing. He continued his television acting work, and had by now briefly helped road-manage the rock band Three Dog Night. After a win in February, 1975, Quarry begged to be put in line for a fight with contender Ken Norton. When first choices Oscar Bonavena and Jimmy Young bowed out with injuries, Quarry was placed into the Norton bout on 18 days notice. Norton had been training for five months. The Norton fight was Quarry's 62nd pro fight. Norton, who was about the same age as Quarry, was 32-3. The 6' 3" Norton weighed 218 for the bout, Quarry 207 with little training beforehand. Clancy was once again in Quarry's corner. The fight took place March 24, 1975. The fight was a war of hard punches, with Norton connecting well early against a Jerry Quarry with shot reflexes, a sitting duck for Norton's vicious attacks. He was cut badly in the 3rd round, and attacked Norton so that he would have a chance to win before the fight was stopped. Norton survived a tough Quarry attack and continued his assault. The fight was stopped in the 5th round after Quarry came under a barrage of clean shots to the head. There were many calls for him to retire afterwards as it was evident in the Frazier and Norton fights that he was a 'shot' fighter.
Quarry retired for over two and a half years after the Norton fight. His career record was at 50–8–4 at this time, with 32 wins by KO. He had two losses each to Frazier and Ali plus one apiece to Norton, Chuvalo, Ellis and Machen to this point. He had been ranked as high as the No. 1 contender three times. At around this time, Quarry signed a contract with ABC (American Broadcasting Corporation) to be a boxing commentator. Quarry was very popular in this position, drawing the ire of Howard Cosell, an ABC commentator being pushed out of some work by Quarry. In mid-1977, a return match was being put together which would put Quarry in against a ranked heavyweight. The ranked heavyweight would be Italian Lorenzo Zanon. The match was to be televised on ABC, where Quarry was contracted. But both fighters signed to have the bout televised on CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System). When Quarry, who often negotiated his own fight contracts, signed the bout to CBS, he lost his ABC contract. The comeback match took place in November 1977, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Quarry, weighing 209, looked slow and a shell of his former self, was clearly outboxed over seven rounds by Zanon. But Quarry caught him with a hard right in the 8th round, and won the fight by KO in the 9th. Despite winning, it was a poor performance, and Quarry retired again afterward, this time for almost six years.
During those years, Quarry was married and divorced twice. He also lost a great deal of his fortune in failed business investments. No longer doing television work, he decided to return to the ring. With the Cruiserweight division now created, Quarry returned in that weight class. When he returned in August, 1983, he was 38 years old. Though appearing to be in good health, Quarry was in fact already beginning to show the effects of his lengthy boxing career. A Sports Illustrated reporter was researching an article about health problems among retired boxers, especially among those who started as child boxers. The reporter met Quarry, and although he appeared to be in good health, Quarry's performance on several simple cognitive tests was shockingly poor.This was the harbinger of the mental decline that would eventually destroy the last part of his life – dementia pugilistica, the atrophy of the brain from repeated blows to the head, eventually leading to an Alzheimer's-like state. A 1983 CT scan of Quarry's brain done for the article and confidently agreed to by him, showed classic evidence of brain atrophy, including the characteristic cavum septi pellucidi found in many boxers with long careers. Despite these developing facts, Quarry had two wins in 1983, but the fights accelerated his mental decline. He retired again and was inactive as a boxer from 1984 to 1992, but Quarry continued to decline physically and mentally. His entire boxing fortune completely gone by 1990, Quarry filed for Social Security at age 45. Denied a boxing license in many states because of his condition, Quarry found a loophole in Colorado that allowed him to schedule an October 30, 1992 bout with Ron Cramner, a cruiserweight 16 years Quarry's junior. At age 47 years and 6 months old, Quarry provided nothing more than a 6-round punching bag for the younger fighter, losing all six rounds and the decision. Only Quarry's courage and great chin let him last the full 6 rounds. Quarry was never the same after that fight.
Within a few years of his final bout Quarry was unable to feed or dress himself and had to be cared for by relatives, mainly his brother James – the only one of the four Quarry brothers not to box professionally.Jerry's brother, Mike, who had contended for the light-heavyweight championship, was himself beginning to show signs of dementia pugilistica in later life, and died as a result on June 11, 2006. Another brother, Bobby, suffers from Parkinson's disease, believed to be the result of his own heavyweight boxing career.
Jerry Quarry was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1995.A television news broadcast of the event showed him barely aware of the proceedings, the dementia he suffered now severe.
Quarry was hospitalized with pneumonia on December 28, 1998, and then suffered cardiac arrest. He never regained consciousness and died on January 3, 1999 at the age of 53. His body was interred at Shafter Cemetery in Shafter, California.
A foundation was established in his honor to battle boxing-related dementia, a condition that has afflicted many boxers and brought Quarry's life to an early end.
Quarry's overall professional record was 53–9–4 with 32 KOs. He had been lauded by countless younger boxing stars as an inspiring star in the sport. Joe Frazier, in his autobiography, said of Quarry: "A very tough man. He could have been a world champion, but he cut too easily." George Foreman has also similarly lauded Quarry. Quarry fought in what has been called "The Golden Age Of Heavyweight Boxing", where the talent level of the sport and its level of international interest were at a peak. Interest in boxing has generally declined since. This is at least partly due to the injuries and illnesses associated with the sport. Quarry, Muhammad Ali and other notable boxing stars were debilitated in their retirement.
|66 fights||53 wins||9 losses|
|66||Loss||53–9–4||UD||6||30 Oct 1992|
|65||Win||53–8–4||MD||10||22 Nov 1983|
|64||Win||52–8–4||TKO||1 (10), 0:32||31 Aug 1983|
|63||Win||51–8–4||TKO||9 (10), 2:34||5 Nov 1977|
|62||Loss||50–8–4||TKO||5 (12), 2:29||27 Mar 1975||For vacant NYSAC heavyweight title|
|61||Win||50–7–4||UD||10||25 Feb 1975|
|60||Loss||49–7–4||TKO||5 (10), 1:37||17 Jun 1974|
|59||Win||49–6–4||KO||2 (10), 3:00||8 May 1974|
|58||Win||48–6–4||TKO||1 (10), 2:21||14 Dec 1973|
|57||Win||47–6–4||TKO||4 (10), 1:38||10 Sep 1973|
|56||Win||46–6–4||TKO||2 (10), 1:59||31 Aug 1973|
|55||Win||45–6–4||UD||12||9 Feb 1973|
|54||Win||44–6–4||RTD||7 (10)||5 Jan 1973|
|53||Loss||43–6–4||TKO||7 (12), 0:19||27 Jun 1972||For NYSAC heavyweight title|
|52||Win||43–5–4||PTS||10||9 May 1972|
|51||Win||42–5–4||KO||1 (10), 2:58||17 Apr 1972|
|50||Win||41–5–4||UD||10||2 Dec 1971|
|49||Win||40–5–4||KO||1 (10), 1:04||16 Nov 1971|
|48||Win||39–5–4||UD||10||24 Jul 1971|
|47||Win||38–5–4||UD||10||18 Jun 1971|
|46||Loss||37–5–4||RTD||3 (15), 3:00||26 Oct 1970|
|45||Win||37–4–4||TKO||6 (10), 1:14||8 Sep 1970|
|44||Win||36–4–4||TKO||6 (10), 2:05||17 Jun 1970|
|43||Win||35–4–4||UD||10||19 Mar 1970|
|42||Win||34–4–4||KO||2 (10), 1:32||3 Mar 1970|
|41||Loss||33–4–4||KO||7 (10), 2:59||12 Dec 1969|
|40||Win||33–3–4||KO||2 (10), 2:30||3 Sep 1969|
|39||Win||32–3–4||KO||1 (10), 2:43||11 Aug 1969|
|38||Loss||31–3–4||RTD||7 (15), 3:00||23 Jun 1969||For vacant NYSAC heavyweight title|
|37||Win||31–2–4||UD||12||24 Mar 1969|
|36||Win||30–2–4||KO||5 (10), 2:41||26 Jan 1969|
|35||Win||29–2–4||TKO||5 (10), 2:58||10 Jan 1969|
|34||Win||28–2–4||UD||10||19 Nov 1968|
|33||Win||27–2–4||TKO||5 (10), 1:15||11 Nov 1968|
|32||Loss||26–2–4||MD||15||27 Apr 1968||For vacant WBA heavyweight title|
|31||Win||26–1–4||TKO||12 (12), 2:57||3 Feb 1968|
|30||Win||25–1–4||MD||12||28 Oct 1967|
|29||Win||24–1–4||KO||1 (10), 2:45||15 Sep 1967|
|28||Draw||23–1–4||MD||10||9 Jun 1967|
|27||Win||23–1–3||KO||3 (10), 2:18||27 Apr 1967|
|26||Win||22–1–3||UD||10||9 Mar 1967|
|25||Win||21–1–3||KO||5 (10), 3:08||11 Jan 1967|
|24||Win||20–1–3||UD||10||15 Dec 1966|
|23||Win||19–1–3||KO||5 (10), 2:18||28 Nov 1966|
|22||Win||18–1–3||UD||10||20 Oct 1966|
|21||Loss||17–1–3||UD||10||14 Jul 1966|
|20||Draw||17–0–3||PTS||10||27 May 1966|
|19||Win||17–0–2||UD||10||2 May 1966|
|18||Win||16–0–2||TKO||2 (10), 2:40||7 Apr 1966|
|17||Draw||15–0–2||SD||10||4 Mar 1966|
|16||Win||15–0–1||TKO||5 (10), 2:20||17 Feb 1966|
|15||Win||14–0–1||UD||8||3 Feb 1966|
|14||Win||13–0–1||TKO||3 (10)||23 Dec 1965|
|13||Draw||12–0–1||UD||10||11 Nov 1965|
|12||Win||12–0||TKO||3 (10)||2 Nov 1965|
|11||Win||11–0||TKO||6 (8), 1:21||28 Oct 1965|
|10||Win||10–0||KO||1 (8), 0:30||18 Oct 1965|
|9||Win||9–0||TKO||3 (6), 0:28||23 Sep 1965|
|8||Win||8–0||UD||8||9 Aug 1965|
|7||Win||7–0||TKO||4 (8), 0:34||2 Aug 1965|
|6||Win||6–0||UD||6||29 Jul 1965|
|5||Win||5–0||KO||3 (6), 1:43||16 Jul 1965|
|4||Win||4–0||UD||6||24 Jun 1965|
|3||Win||3–0||UD||6||17 Jun 1965|
|2||Win||2–0||KO||4 (6), 1:06||3 Jun 1965|
|1||Win||1–0||PTS||4||7 May 1965|
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Duane Bobick is a retired boxer from the United States. As an amateur he won the gold medal at the 1971 Pan American Games and fought at the 1972 Olympics. He then turned professional and retired in 1979 with a record of 48 wins and four losses, all by knockout.
Cassius Clay fought Argentine Alex Miteff in a ten-round boxing match in Louisville on October 7, 1961. Clay won the fight through a technical knockout when the referee stopped the fight in the sixth round. Miteff and Clay would feature in the 1962 film Requiem for a Heavyweight.
Muhammad Ali is regarded by boxing commentators and historians as the greatest professional boxer of all time. Boxing magazine The Ring named him number one in a 1998 ranking of greatest heavyweights from all eras. In 1999, The Associated Press voted Ali the number one heavyweight of the 20th century. In 1999, Ali was named the second greatest boxer in history, pound for pound, by ESPN; behind only welterweight and middleweight legend Sugar Ray Robinson. In December 2007, ESPN listed Ali second in its choice of the greatest heavyweights of all time, behind Joe Louis.
Anthony "Tony" Perez is an American boxing referee and judge of Puerto Rican descent. During his career, he refereed many major boxing fights and participated in a number of boxing related documentaries.