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Home » Book Recommendation: Gerry Cooney’s ‘Gentleman Gerry’

Book Recommendation: Gerry Cooney’s ‘Gentleman Gerry’

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Beginning in the late 1970s, “Gentleman” Gerry Cooney’s professional boxing career was marked by exhilarating fights, exciting wins, and a powerful left hook.

In 1982, Cooney landed a lucrative match against world heavyweight champion Larry Holmes on one of the biggest stages in championship boxing.


Yet Cooney’s bouts in the ring were nothing compared to the inner turmoil that he dealt with and eventually overcame.

Gentleman Gerry: A Contender in the Ring, a Champion in Recovery chronicles the career of a boxing legend. The challenges and triumphs of a trauma survivor, and an alcoholic’s journey to sustained recovery.

Gerry Cooney and John Grady provide a detailed account of how the former contender went from an abused childhood to becoming a two-time Golden Gloves champion.

More than just a biography, this book explores the challenges of surviving difficult moments. Overcoming obstacles such as alcohol addiction. The authors also provide historical perspectives of the era and behind-the-scenes insight into the world of professional boxing.

Complete with photographs from esteemed sports photographer Joe DiMaggio and stories directly from Cooney himself, this book offers an unprecedented look into Cooney’s life and the lessons he learned. Fans of boxing, as well as sports enthusiasts and others recovering from addiction, will find Gentleman Gerry a must-read.

Reviews back up Cooney’s remarkable story.

Gerry Cooney was not only one of the hardest punchers we’ve seen in the heavyweight division, but also the most loving, sharing, and forgiving human being of all times. Boxing is better for Gerry—just read and see. (George Foreman, member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame)

Gerry Cooney has always had to fight, both in and out of the boxing ring. The fact that he’s always done so gallantly and admirably is not lost on those of us who know him well. His story is compelling. John Grady does a detailed job of chronicling all of it.

Fom Huntington, New York, to Las Vegas, Nevada, where Cooney’s title fight with Larry Holmes stopped the world. Cooney’s story has never been told this thoroughly, this well. It makes for a great read. (Steve Farhood, boxing analyst for Showtime and member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame)

What an experience for anyone who reads this book. Take this journey through real life struggles, in and out of the ring, of a top heavyweight contender. You’ll become aware of the “human spirit” of a fighter. (Jack Reiss, world championship veteran boxing referee and judge)

Gerry is a hell of a man. If he would have waited one year later, he would have been heavyweight champ of the world. To me, he is a great man. I always liked him and we will always be friends. (Larry Holmes, member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame).


Purchase ‘Gentleman Gerry: A Contender in the Ring, a Champion in Recovery’ on Amazon HERE