Leg­endary heavy­weight Cooney com­ing to town

For­mer world No. 1 contender here Oct. 19-20 for a book sign­ing, broad­cast of Crow­ley’s de­fence

The Peterborough Examiner - - SPORTS - MIKE DAVIES EX­AM­INER SPORTS DI­REC­TOR mike.davies @pe­ter­bor­ough­daily.com

Gerry Cooney was one of box­ing’s mar­quee names in the 1980s and lo­cal fight fans can meet him Oct. 20.

In 1982, a large crowd at the Peter­bor­ough Me­mo­rial Cen­tre watched Cooney’s epic fight with Larry Holmes on a gi­ant screen.

On Oct. 19, Cooney and for­mer Ring Mag­a­zine ed­i­tor-in-chief Randy Gor­don will be the broad­cast team for the UFC Fight Pass livestream of home­town hero Cody Crow­ley’s lat­est Cana­dian ti­tle de­fence at Home­com­ing V: Go­ing Global. Cooney and Gor­don have new books on the mar­ket, and on Oct. 20 they’ll have a book sign­ing at Chap­ters Indigo, 873 Lans­downe St., at 11:30 a.m.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing Ir­ish, Cooney said he can iden­tify with Crow­ley’s small town ori­gins. Cooney grew up in a small town on Long Is­land, N.Y. and made his first break­through at the Golden Gloves.

“I grew up in a small town in Hunt­ing­ton, where I laced on the gloves at 16 and won the mid­dleweight cham­pi­onship in Madi­son Square Gar­den in front of 21,000 peo­ple on St. Patty’s Day,” Cooney said.

“I know what it was for me to travel 30 miles from Long Is­land, from a coun­try town at­mos­phere, to the city. That’s how life starts out for all of us. We start out small.”

Crow­ley (17-0, 9 Kos) will de­fend his Cana­dian Pro­fes­sional Box­ing Coun­cil su­per­wel­ter­weight ti­tle against Que­bec’s Mein Hus­sain (16-1, 6 KOs).

Cooney has watched Crow­ley on YouTube.

“He’s got a lot of tal­ent,” Cooney said. “I don’t know how much he’s be­ing pushed by his op­po­nents, so it will be fun to go up and watch him. Maybe I’ll be able to talk to him a lit­tle bit. All you need is prom­ise and if he has that look in the eye he can go as far as he wants.”

Cooney’s re­cently re­leased bi­og­ra­phy “Gen­tle­man Gerry: A Contender in the Ring, A Cham­pion in Re­cov­ery” chron­i­cles his rise to No. 1 heavy­weight contender. And his crash, fol­low­ing the loss to Holmes, into al­co­hol and drugs and his re­cov­ery.

“I came from an al­co­holic fam­ily sys­tem, with lots of ne­glect and abuse. I made it from be­ing told ‘You’re no good. You’re a fail­ure. You’ll never amount to any­thing,’ to be­ing ranked No. 1 in the world,” he said.

The book chron­i­cles his fall, as he put it “Get­ting knocked down.”

“And how we have to get up and dust off our pants and move for­ward. Some­times you get knocked down again, and you move for­ward. And then how we rise to the top and make it through. I made it out of the hole in good shape.”

A year af­ter a dev­as­tat­ing loss to Michael Spinks, his life changed. On April 21, 1988 a cop from his neigh­bour­hood, a re­cov­er­ing al­co­holic, took him to an Alcoholics Anony­mous meet­ing. Cooney has been sober more than 31 years.

“We all have sto­ries,” he said. “Mine is one of hope and love. I get a chance to­day to help peo­ple ev­ery day get to a bet­ter place.”

This show will be UFC Fight Pass’ first foray into box­ing, a long­time de­sire of for­mer UFC owner Dana White.

Cooney and Gor­don, whose book is ti­tled “Glove Af­fair,” have co-hosted “At The Fights” on Sir­ius-XM ra­dio

“Dana White is a great guy, look what he did in MMA. He wants to come in and make a state­ment in box­ing,” Cooney said.

“We’re fight fans and we love this game. I wel­come a guy who is go­ing to make it bet­ter for us and the fight­ers who come up. I want to be in­volved in it.” for a decade.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Randy Gor­don, left, and Gerry Cooney will be the broad­cast team for Cody Crow­ley’s su­per-wel­ter­weight ti­tle de­fence.

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