Looking Back At Larry Holmes Vs. Gerry Cooney, A Classic From 40 Years Ago

One of the most anticipated fights happened 40 years ago.

Holmes technically knocked out Gerry Cooney on June 11, 1982, Holmes’ 12th defense of his WBC heavyweight title.

When the boxers touched gloves before the first round, Holmes told Cooney, “Let’s have a good fight.”

In just two rounds Holmes dropped Cooney, but would survive and come back to win the next two rounds.

The crowd was loving the comeback and began to chant, “Cooney! Cooney!”

The two fought closely from the fifth to eighth rounds. In the ninth round, a point was deducted from Cooney for a low blow. He landed another low blow – hurting Holmes – and had another point deducted.

Cooney had a third point deducted for a third low blow.

By the 13th round, Cooney was exhausted. Cooney was bleeding from his nose and a cut left eye; he was sent to the ropes by a straight right hand from Holmes.

Cooney tried to stay upright while the referee gave him the count, but Cooney’s trainer came into the ring and topped the fight.

Holmes was named the winner by TKO.

“Who the hell is Gerry Cooney?” Holmes asked at the post-fight presser.

“I’ve proved over and over again that I’m the baddest heavyweight in the world. I’ve beaten everyone. He’s the Great White Dope. Who’s he ever beaten. He ain’t never fought anybody.”

Now, Holmes and Cooney are friends. Holmes helps Cooney with F.I.S.T. (Fighters’ Initiative for Support and Training), Cooney’s organization to help retired boxers.

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