Mike Quarry, Former Light Heavyweight Contender, Dies

12.06.06 - By Kent Appel: Mike Quarry lost his final fight, one for his life, Sunday June 11, 2006, he was 55 years old. Quarry, a contender for the light heavyweight title in the 1970's, had been battling the effects of Pugilistica Dementia, the same affliction that took the life of his brother, former heavyweight contender Jerry Quarry in 1999..

Mike Quarry, after starting out his career with a mark of 36-0, fought light heavyweight champion Bob Foster in 1972 and although he gave a good account of himself, he was knocked out by Foster in the fourth round by one of the hardest left hooks the division has ever seen. Quarry had a final record of 63-13-6, 17 by KO in a career that spanned from 1969 until 1982.

Quarry's biggest wins came over future light heavyweight champion Mike Rossman, contenders Jimmy Dupree and Tom Bethea, as well as heavyweight title challenger Joe "King" Roman. Quarry also defeated Ray "Windmill" White for the California State light heavyweight title.

In addition to his wins, Quarry also fought close losing bouts with contenders Yaqui Lopez, Pierre Fourie, Chris Finnegan, as well as two rematches with Rossman. In most of these fights the verdicts were very much in doubt until the final bell. Mike Quarry was inducted for his accomplishments in the ring into the California State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.

I met Mr. Quarry on a few occasions and it is safe to say that not only was he a very good boxer, he was a decent human being, a real gentleman. I also used to on occasion talk to him on the phone when I lived in La Habra, California, near his La Mirada, California home and I fondly remember our conversations, mainly about his desire to stay active and productive in his life.

I was at his induction into the California State Hall of Fame and I can still see his smiling face as he warmly said to me, "God bless you and thank you for coming!" It is never easy to write someone's obituary but it is especially hard when it is someone one has come in contact with and while I only knew Mike Quarry briefly, he was a real person and he will be missed.

Article posted on 13.06.2006

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