The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire
Former heavyweight boxer Jerry Quarry dies
The Associated Press
TEMPLETON, Calif. -- Jerry Quarry, a popular heavyweight who fought Muhammad
Ali and Floyd Patterson then eventually lapsed into a punch-drunk fog, died
Sunday after being taken off life support. He was 53.
Quarry was hospitalized Dec. 28 with pneumonia and then suffered cardiac arrest
while at Twin Cities Community Hospital. He died at 3:52 p.m. after family
members directed doctors to remove life support, according to Claude
Sutherland, a longtime family friend.
``It was a family decision to take him off life support when they were told he
would probably be bedridden,'' Sutherland said. ``They're pretty distraught.''
Quarry, who earned $2.1 million in purses as a top contender in the 1960s and
'70s, later was living on Social Security checks. By the age of 50, the
pounding he had taken in the ring turned him into a confused, childlike man
whose relatives had to take care of him.
The medical name for his condition was dementia pugilistica, severe brain
damage caused by repeated blows to the head.
Among the highlights of Quarry's career were two fights against Patterson, the
former heavyweight champion. Both bouts were in Quarry's hometown of Los
Angeles, and the first ended in a draw and he won the second on a controversial
Quarry, a 6-foot, 195-pound blond who seemed to be easy to cut, earned his
biggest payday, $338,000, by fighting Ali when Ali returned from his banishment
Early in the fight in Atlanta, the two butted heads and a gash opened above
Quarry's left eye. Ali peppered the spot with jabs, spraying blood, and stopped
Quarry in three rounds.
Quarry futilely pleaded with the referee not to stop it.
Ali cut Quarry again to win a rematch in seven rounds, and Joe Frazier bloodied
him badly in the second of their two fights, winning in five at Madison Garden
Quarry finished his pro career with a 53-9-4 record after having fighting more
than 200 bouts as an amateur.
Neurological tests revealed early signs of dementia in 1982, before his
short-term memory loss and motor skills deteriorated so noticeably and before
his last three fights.
A neuropsychologist who examined him five years ago said that boxing had aged
the boxer 30 years and that he was at third-stage dementia, similar to
In 1992, Quarry fought for one final time. Believing he could make a comeback
as George Foreman had, he took a bout in Colorado, a state where no boxing
license was required.
But Quarry was battered for six rounds by a club fighter. ``Irish Jerry''
Quarry's payday for absorbing the beating was $1,050.
He is survived by three children; four sisters; three brothers, including Jimmy
and Mike, who were fighters; and parents, Jack and Awanda Quarry.
A funeral was scheduled for Saturday in Shasta.
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