3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Tough, tough luck,
This review is from: Hard Luck: The Triumph And Tragedy Of "Irish" Jerry Quarry (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.