By Kent Appel: Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr, Oscar De La Hoya, Chris Byrd, all great fighters in your day, do yourselves a great big favor and please stay retired! This includes any other fighters from the past who are contemplating fighting again as well. A boxing senior circuit is a breeding ground for disaster because of safety concerns for the boxers. So I am even against them fighting in exhibitions as who knows when one more blow to the head is one too many?
The main reason I do not want older retired fighters from the past fighting again is because I do not want what happened to Jerry Quarry to happen to them. Jerry Quarry was one of the greatest heavyweight contenders of all time and while he never won a world heavyweight title, he was a three time number one contender who along the way defeated such fighters as former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson, as well as top contenders Ron Lyle and Earnie Shavers. Jerry Quarry was also the only fighter who fought both Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier twice each. In addition, former heavyweight champion George Foreman said he avoided fighting Quarry in his first reign as champion.
From 1965 to 1992 Jerry Quarry had a career record of 53 wins 9 losses and 4 draws with 32 of those wins coming by knockout. The problem is he fought for far too long including an ill fated fight he took at the age of 47 years old against a journeyman opponent who would have been lucky to get a job as Quarry’s sparring partner back in Quarry’s heyday. In that last fight Quarry, tough to the end, took a beating for six rounds and he barely remembered even fighting afterwards all for the whopping sum of $1,100.
Jerry Quarry tragically died at the age of only 53 years old from the ravages of a condition known as Dementia Pugilistica a shell of his former self. In effect he had the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease brought on by taking too many punches to the head. Reportedly he had the brain of a 90 year old when he passed away.
Great fighters from the past, it is not your fault that some people today think boxing sucks so it is not your place to come and rescue the sport that a lot of us still love. Leave well enough alone!