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Jerry Quarry - 1970s Heavyweights

Tragedy was the name of the game in the Quarry family as what they termed “pugilistic dementia” struck not just Jerry Quarry but his younger brother Mike also a boxer. Both men died way too young, Jerry at 53 and Mike at 55. A third brother Bobby, also boxed and retired at 29 because his body was failing him but he remains alive today at age 57. As for Jerry Quarry, boxing fans ...

Ernie Shavers - 1970s Heavyweights

Bald headed Ernie Shavers was a tough nasty fighter who either scored a KO or TKO to all but two of his first 15 opponents to open his career. After getting knocked out by Ron Stander on May 11, 1970, Shavers would win his next 33 fights in a row until he lost by TKO in the first round to the aforementioned Jerry Quarry. His peers say he was the hardest hitting opponent they fa ...

Leon Spinks - 1970s Heavyweights

Leon Spinks may very well be the worst of the fighters listed in this article, a fly-by-night heavyweight champion that shocked the world by beating Muhammad Ali but in a near-immediate rematch was completely embarrassed losing the title back to Ali. With just 46 fights in his career, Spinks lost 17 times and was knocked out nine times. Incredibly, after just seven professional ...

Chuck Wepner - 1970s Heavyweights

“The Bayonne Bleeder” was the nickname for Wepner and he once tried to sue Sylvester Stallone saying that the “Rocky” character was based on his life. Wepner was a scrapper and had as much heart as any fighter you could find. He was rugged and tough but not a great boxer. But to watch his efforts and how hard he fought made him an attraction. His final record was a respectable ...

Jimmy Young - 1970s Heavyweights

Jimmy Young was more of a journeyman fighter with limited highlights during his 57 fight career. Nowhere near having knockout power, Young would finish just 11 of his 35 opponents he defeated. A defensive fighter he also only got knocked out twice. But he lost 18 fights yet still managed to earn a title shot against Muhammad Ali losing a 15 round decision in 1976. At one point ...

Larry Holmes - 1970s Heavyweights

In my estimation, Larry Holmes is one of the most underrated champions of all time. The problem with his legacy is that he fought past his prime. With a 48-0 record and closing in on Rocky Marciano’s all-time undefeated mark of 50-0, Holmes took on light heavyweight champion Michael Spinks in 1985 thinking he would beat him but ended up losing a unanimous decision spoiling his ...

Mike Weaver - 1970s Heavyweights

Mike Weaver had a stellar career winning several different championships despite losing 18 times against 41 victories. But at one point in his career he held the NBA heavyweight title belt, International Boxing Authority championship, the WBA Americas title, the WBA belt, USBA title, USBA title, and the Nevada heavyweight championship. But when he won the WBA heavyweight champi ...

Gerry Cooney - 1970s Heavyweights

Some referred to Gerry Cooney as the “Great White Hope” during the prime of his career. That’s because he expected to become world champion and unseat the defending champion, Larry Holmes. Cooney’s path to the championship was a brutal one for his opponents as he scored 24 knockouts in his 28 fights but the knock on his record is that he was beating fighters that were far past ...

John Tate - 1970s Heavyweights

While “Big John” Tate lost just three times in 37 fights, as stated above, he lost his heavyweight title to Mike Weaver after holding it for less than a year when he beat Gerrie Coetzee by decision to take the belt on October 20, 1979. After losing to Weaver, Tate lost again in his next fight to Trevor Berbick getting knocked out again this time in round nine. He would not lose ...

Gerrie Coetzee - 1970s Heavyweights

Perhaps one of South Africa’s greatest fighters ever, Gerrie Coetzee began his legacy with a South African heavyweight title that he won in 1976 by beating Mike Schutte although it was by disqualification when Coetzee’s opponent tried to kick him after the new champion was knocked down. He would later decision Schutte in a rematch. Coetzee got his first shot at a world title wh ...