Hard Luck: The Triumph and Tragedy of

Hard Luck: The Triumph and Tragedy of "Irish" Jerry Quarry


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The story of boxing legend Jerry Quarry has it all: rags to riches, thrilling fights against the giants of the Golden Age of Heavyweights (Ali—twice, Frazier—twice, Patterson, Norton), a racially and politically electric sports era, the thrills and excesses of fame, celebrities, love, hate, joy, and pain. And tragedy.Like the man he fought during two highly controversial fight cards in 1970 and ’72—Muhammad Ali—boxing great Jerry Quarry was to suffer gravely. He died at age fifty-three, mind and body ravaged by Dementia Pugilistica.In Hard Luck, “Irish” Jerry Quarry comes to life—from his Grapes of Wrath days as the child of an abusive father in the California migrant camps to those as the undersized heavyweight slaying giants on his way to multiple title bouts and the honor of being the World’s Most Popular Fighter in ’68, ’69, ’70, and ’71. The story of Jerry Quarry is one of the richest in the annals of boxing, and through painstaking research and exclusive access to the Quarry family and its archives, Steve Springer and Blake Chavez have captured it all.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599219967
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 04/01/2011
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 9.04(w) x 6.26(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

Steve Springer is the author of six books, including the New York Times bestseller American Son: The 'scar De La Hoya Story. Formerly a journalist for the Los Angeles Times, he is currently a colunnist for ESPN Los Angeles. Blake Chavez is a professional writer who enjoyed a successful career as an amateur boxing trainer for more than a decade.

Read an Excerpt

Jerry Quarry was the best heavyweight fighter never to have won a championship belt. WhenI became Heavyweight Champion of the World, I dodged him purposely. . . . He fought toe to toe with Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier, twice. He fought Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali twice. He out-boxed two-time Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson. He outpunched Earnie Shavers. He destroyed Mac Foster and schooled Ron Lyle.—from the Foreword by George Forema

Table of Contents

Foreword George Foreman v

Chapter 1 Top of the World, Ma 1

Chapter 2 Vintage Wine from the Grapes of Wrath 3

Chapter 3 A Clan of Their Own 19

Chapter 4 Hard Luck 23

Chapter 5 Best Laid Plans of Jack and Men 28

Chapter 6 Prodigy 31

Chapter 7 Down on Main Street 45

Chapter 8 Kicking Ass and Taking Names 52

Chapter 9 The Lord's Prayer 82

Chapter 10 Bridesmaid 91

Chapter 11 Defying Neptune 108

Chapter 12 Of Garden Parties and Great Whites 112

Chapter 13 Come Out Smokin' 119

Chapter 14 Scratching the Seven-Year Itch 132

Chapter 15 Big Mac Attack 141

Chapter 16 Return from Exile: Ebony and Ivory 147

Chapter 17 He Ain't Heavy 163

Chapter 18 Chillin' with The King 167

Chapter 19 Of Soul Brothers, Mad Dogs, and Irishmen 178

Chapter 20 Ex-Cons, Acorns, and Madame Cocaine 189

Chapter 21 Another Cup of Joe 204

Chapter 22 Mandingo These Nuts 214

Chapter 23 Last Call 222

Chapter 24 Requiem for a Great White Hope 229

Chapter 25 The Lost Men 236

Chapter 26 Of Last Temptations and Rotten Bastards 243

Chapter 27 Harbinger 247

Chapter 28 The Abyss 250

Chapter 29 The Pipes Are Calling 258

Chapter 30 Stairway to Heaven 265

Sources 271

Acknowledgments 292

Index 294

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