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Hard Luck: The Triumph And Tragedy Of "Irish" Jerry Quarry Hardcover – April 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Jerry Quarry would have been a champion in any other era.” --Mickey Rourke

From the Inside Flap

The story of boxing legend Jerry Quarry has it all: rags to riches, thrilling fights against the giants of the Golden Age of Heavyweights (Ali—twice, Frazier—twice, Patterson—twice, and Norton), a racially and politically electric sports era, the thrills and excesses of fame, celebrities, love, hate, joy, and pain. And tragedy.
 
Like Muhammad Ali, the man he fought during two highly controversial fight cards in 1970 and ’72, boxing great Jerry Quarry was to suffer gravely. He died at age fifty-three, mind and body ravaged by dementia pugilistica.
 
In Hard Luck, “Irish” Jerry Quarry comes to life—from his Grapes of Wrath days as the child of an abusive father in the California migrant camps to those as the undersized heavyweight slaying giants on his way to multiple title bouts and the honor of being Boxing Illustrated’s World’s Most Popular Fighter in ’68, ’69, ’70, and ’71.
 
The story of Jerry Quarry is one of the richest in the annals of boxing, and through painstaking research and exclusive access to the Quarry family and its archives, Steve Springer and Blake Chavez have captured it all.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599219964
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599219967
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #605,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Rick Shaq Goldstein on March 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Any boxing fan who lived through the 1960's and 1970's will never forget heavyweight boxer Jerry Quarry. Any boxing fan regardless of their age, or what generation of boxing they lived through... should know about Jerry Quarry. Quarry was without a doubt one of the best heavyweights who never won the championship. The time period that encompassed Jerry's career... just may have included the most talented overall bunch of heavyweights active at one time in history. And as the reader will find out... Jerry is probably the only one who didn't shy away from fighting these behemoth bombers. Before I go any further in this review... my opening statements can easily be confirmed by no greater an authority than former Heavyweight Champ and master-blaster George Foreman. Big George states in the foreword he so graciously wrote for this super-well-documented Quarry biography: "JERRY QUARRY WAS THE BEST HEAVYWEIGHT FIGHTER NEVER TO HAVE A CHAMPIONSHIP BELT. WHEN I BECAME HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD, I DODGED HIM PURPOSELY."

In hindsight... what can rightfully be called "The Golden Age Of Heavyweights" Jerry fought at least FIVE DIFFERENT MEN WHO AT SOME POINT WERE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONS! Jerry's opponents included among others, MUHAMMAD ALI (TWICE), SMOKIN' JOE FRAZIER, KEN NORTON, RON LYLE, EARNIE SHAVERS, MAC FOSTER, FLOYD PATTERSON, THAD SPENCER, JIMMY ELLIS AND GEORGE CHUVALO. Many of these fighters were avoided by other fighters by any means necessary. Jerry never avoided anyone... and he always came to fight.

I grew up in Southern California during the Quarry years... and I even went to some fights with my boxing loving Dad, and yet I still learned an awful lot of behind the scenes information about the Quarry clan.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. Stover on March 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author quotes Dickens "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times", a most accurate description of the exciting but violent 1960's through the middle 70's. Jerry Quarry was a star then, as much a public figure star as any known entertainer, movie actor or athlete of his time. "The Great White Hope", an unfortunate title cast upon him that he loathed, but had no control over. George Foreman said that " Jerry Quarry was the greatest heavyweight never to win a title", and in an era that boxing exerts refer to as "the golden age of heavyweights". And not only was the overall competition at it's highest level ever, but Quarry who was an undersized heavyweight who nearly always had to give away physical advantages also had to compete with two guys named Ali and Frazier. Imagine if you can, a heavyweight boxer today having more than 80 professional fights during their careers as both Jerry and his light-heavy brother Mike did, it would be unheard of. And in the tragic and very sad end both brothers lost their lives to the brutality of the profession that was mapped out for them from childhood.
Having done some boxing myself and having been raised during that time period in the Southern California area, I was a fan and like so many others followed the Quarry careers. I saw the two brothers train several times and sat ringside at a couple of Mike's Anaheim Convention outings. In 1983 I was still training and working with amateurs in Southern Calif. and had the opportunity to meet the man that guided George Foreman to the title, Dick Sadler. At that time Sadler was working with a local middleweight that was due to fight on a nationally televised event. Sadler asked me if I'd spend a couple of evenings sparring with his charge, I gladly said yes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Moritz on October 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is an important tome, least of all because it is the first BOOK written about Jerry Quarry. After reading dozens of articles,columns and internet postings about Jerry, it was high time for a book devoted to his life.
Many of us are just fans. I was one in the 60, 70s and 80s, and kept tabs on his whereabouts the rest of his life. Jerry showed us what it was to continue the hard fight, to be a good sportsman, and a gracious loser when that time comes.
If you have even the least interest in Jerry Quarry, get this book. It was a fascinating, if too often brutal life (and that's outside of the ring!) but always fascinating. I always felt that Jerry wanted to do so much with his life, more than just boxing, but it was the fight game that called him back. And sadly he ended up paying for it.
We miss Jerry, but we love to talk about how great he was and things that might have been even greater.
Get the book and see what we mean.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mschmidt on April 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A tremendous story on a fighter that gave it his all every time out. Growing up in the "golden age" of the heavyweights, our family ALWAYS wanted to watch a Jerry Quarry fight. He gave it his all and the book is an amazing story of a man who started fighting at age 5 and never really stopped fighting his way thru life up until his
death. I remember Jerry Quarry not only in the ring but outside the ring as an announcer. A class act. In todays boxing world he would have been a cruiserweight thru his career and he would have been an automatic Hall of Fame entry at that weight. The book is an incredible journey of a hard driving father he took his two sons, Jerry and mike to the top echelons of the sport and the story of the Quarry's life in and out of the ring. A tremendous read
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