Hard Luck: The Triumph and Tragedy of "Irish" Jerry Quarry and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $24.95
  • Save: $6.61 (26%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by apex_media
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ships direct from Amazon! Qualifies for Prime Shipping and FREE standard shipping for orders over $25. Overnight and 2 day shipping available!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

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

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$4.49 $4.82

Frequently Bought Together

Hard Luck: The Triumph And Tragedy Of "Irish" Jerry Quarry + One Punch from the Promised Land: Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, And The Myth Of The Heavyweight Title + Sonny Liston - The Real Story Behind the Ali-Liston Fights
Price for all three: $50.76

Buy the selected items together


Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599219964
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599219967
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #925,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“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.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Get the book and see what we mean.
R. Moritz
It has some interesting information but seems to have too much filler information and some opinions seem more conjecture rather than fact.
This is a book on the great heavyweight boxer Jerry Quarry.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 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.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 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.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Raiko on November 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story of Jerry Quarry - and his brother, Mike - had the stuff for a great book. Unfortunately, "Hard luck" is not a great read. Reading the book, I just wished that someone with better writing and reporting skills had written Quarry's story. When you compare this book with some of the terrific boxing books of the recent past, "Hard luck" does not fare well.
The writing in this book is so clumsy that at times it's almost painful to read...here's how the authors describe Mac Foster: " 'Big Mac' was so bloodthirsty that he probably spent each morning snacking on mosquitoes"...and on and on, especially when the authors describe Quarry's fights. And they certainly linger on Quarry's ring career as the sections about Jerry's life after boxing get relatively little space - although here is where the authors could have made their mark describing Quarry's terrible decline.
Another problem is the reporting: there's not much new information in the book if you've read magazine pieces about the Quarrys. The authors haven't interviewed any of Jerry Quarry's children nor his second wife. The photos in the book are all from a family friend's collection and therefore there are gaps in the photo section: no pictures of any of the big Quarry fights against Ali, Frazier, Patterson, Shavers or Lyle, no pictures of Jerry's second and third wife.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pugwash on August 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The 1960's and early 1970's have often been called the Golden Age of boxing. Yes, it spawned Ali, Frazier and Foreman. But rarely, if ever, have fights between contenders caused so much excitement. Floyd Patterson was a great small heavyweight. Sonny Liston still terrorized the lesser talents of the division. And fine fighters like Jimmy Ellis, Ernie Terrell, Oscar Bonavena, George Chuvalo, Zora Folley and Cleveland Williams patrolled the division.

Yet Jerry Quarry represented what was so wonderful about the sport, and ultimately, the abject tragedy. No sport builds up its heroes and chews them up and spits them out like boxing. Quarry was a wonderful fighter. In several other eras, he may have been a champion. He was able to come back from crushing defeats to beat some rising stars. Mac Foster was undefeated when Quarry destroyed him. Likewise, Ron Lyle. Quarry bombed out the murderous punching Ernie Shavers.

Through it all, he remained humble, in spite of earning well over two million dollars, when that amount carried much more weight. He was accessible to his fans, and respected by his peers. He was a gutsy and courageous professional, despite often being outweighed by his opponents.

In the end, his past caught up with him. Too many fights, too many punches taken, too much punishment. Brain damage, and like Wilfredo Benitez, Billy Conn, and Muhammud Ali, pugilistic dementia.

He was as brave and tough as fighters came. He reveled in glory, and took his beatings like a man. He earned his popularity. He was a decent, and humble man.

He is missed. It is a worthy ode to him, and an overdue one.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?