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Five Fine FightersBy Jim Amato
Remember Jerry Quarry? He was a perennial mainstay in the heavyweight division throughout the 60's and 70's. The dominant "White Hope" of that era. Jerry was always in the thick of the title picture and had a tremendous following. The fans either loved him or hated him. They could never seem to find a middle ground and either could the odds makers. Just when it seemed that Quarry had arrived at the crest of his skills, those skills would desert him. Untimely losses and remarkable come back wins were his claim to fame. What Jerry had is what the respected Evander Holyfield and many of today's other top heavyweight lack. That was charisma. Win or lose the fans always got their money's worth and the press produced reams of copy on Jerry's adventures in and out of the ring.
Quarry entered the pro ranks with the reputation as a comer. An accomplished amateur, Jerry's progress up the fistic ladder was on its way. As Jerry began to establish his credentials he began to receive more and more interest. One of the interested parties was the none other than Rocky Marciano. The rumor was that the "The Rock" was willing to pay $100,000 for Jerry's contract. Big money in those days. Just as this rosy scenario was unfolding the fates sent Jerry an omen of things to come. There messenger, Eddie Machen. Eddie was a hardluck ex-contender on the way down the ladder. His name would look good on Quarry's resume. Fittingly when they entered Machen's name on Jerry's record thre was an L-10 next to it. Marciano was no longer interested in Jerry's contract and now Quarry with dogged determination he would show throughout his career began the rebuilding process.
During his career much was written about the relationship Jerry had with the "Quarry Clan". Managed by his father Jack and constantly surrounded by family members, the press could never figure if the "Clan" was good for Jerry or not. Jerry seemed to have the same problem. Unconditional loyalty, internal arguments and marital difficulties. The "Clan's" battle royales in the auditorium parking lots sometimes upstaged Jerry's fight. The press loved it and the fans ate it up.
With or without family woes Quarry's career was soon back on track. When he held former champion Floyd Patterson to a draw he had hit the big time. Again the fates would take over. Muhammad Ali was forced from his throne for failing to enter the U.S. Army. Quickly the World Boxing Association chose eight men to compete in an elimination tournament to determine Ali's successor. Jerry was one of the eight chosen. In his first tourney bout he was again pitted against Patterson. This time Jerry got the verdict. In his next match Quarry squared off against tournament favorite, Thad Spencer. Spencer had defeated ex-W.B.A. Champ Ernie Terrell and now the experts were picking him to beat Quarry. Jerry proved the experts wrong stopping Spencer in round twelve. Now Quarry was made the favorite in the championship match against Jimmy Ellis. Ellis was managed by Angelo Dundee and was a former spar mate of Ali's. Still the experts said that Ellis was just a blown up middleweight. They forgot that Ellis had beaten Leotis Martin and Oscar Bonavena to get to the finals. The bout itself was dull. Neither man refused to lead by the quicker handed Ellis won the decision and the title. Jerry's stock dropped dramatically and many began to wonder if Jerry "had the goods".
Quarry's loss to Ellis brought Jerry and the "Clan" back to reality. It was again time to start over. Jerry wasted little time as he trounced Buster Mathis over twelve rounds. His reward was a shot at the New York State heavyweight crown held by none other than Joe Frazier. The first two rounds of Jerry's 1969 bout with Frazier may have been Jerry's finest. He outslugged the consummate slugger. Soon through it became apparent that this was Frazier's kind of fight. Jerry faded and was stopped in seven. Later that year Quarry met another top white hope in George Chuvalo. For six rounds Quarry outboxed his plodding foe. Desperate and bleeding Chuvalo came to life in round seven and floored Jerry. Quarry was dazed and misread the referee's count. The ref tolled ten and Jerry was counted out.
Disbelieving and disillusioned it looked to Jerry like he had reached the end. Trying to squeeze one more payday from the Quarry name, Madison Square Garden match Jerry with Mac Foster who was 24-0 and the no. 1 contender. Again Jerry bounced back into the heavyweight picture destroying Foster in six rounds. Jerry's reward was a shot against the come backing Muhammad Ali. Although Jerry fought well, a bad cut over his eye lead to a third round stoppage. Quarry stayed active but the fire seemed to be missing. Not quite two years after their first bout, Jerry met Ali again. This time it was no contest. Ali dominated Jerry and the bout was halted in round seven. His performance was lethargic and the experts had written Jerry off as a has been. Deciding to give it one more try, Jerry hooked up with trainer Gil Clancy and began another remarkable comeback. A twelve round decision over previously unbeaten Ron Lyle put Jerry back in the ratings. He solidified this when he stopped Earnie Shavers in one round. Jerry was now matched for a second time again with Joe Frazier. Frazier-Quarry II was a mismatch. Jerry was never in the fight which was mercifully halted in round five.
Jerry had one more shot at the big time when he was matched with Ken Norton. Game but out of condition, Quarry scored well early but ran out of gas. Norton picked him apart and stopped Jerry in the fifth. There was an awful come from behind victory over Lorenzo Zanon then Jerry slipped into oblivion. He later tried to return as a cruiserweight but his skills had long ago eroded.
The problems that Jerry is facing today have been well documented. A testimony to every punch he absorbed from Ali, Frazier, and all the other top heavyweights he crossed gloves with. Who knows how Jerry's career would have gone if Ali and Frazier had not boxed in the same era? He has nothing to be ashamed of. He was a ranked contender for ten years in possibly the toughest heavyweight division of any era. When the division did become a little stagnant you better bet Jerry would do something to stir it up. Charisma.
Philadelphia Pal Moore was a member of the famous "Fighting Moore Family" which included brothers Willie, Redy, and Frank. He was born Paul Von Franzke October 1891, in Germany. He began his professional career in 1907 in Philadelphia. By 1909 he had invaded New York and began to draw attention. By 1910, he had hit the big time. On February 1st of that year he stopped Henry Miers in Boston prompting ex-heavyweight champion James J. Corbett who was in attendance to heap praise on Pal. On May 25th Pal scored an upset six round newspaper verdict over the heralded Jim Driscoll. In his last five bouts for 1910 he twice met Owen Moran losing a newspaper decision and then holding Moran to a draw. He then lost newspaper verdicts to Abe Attel, Harlem Tommy Murphy, and Tommy Langdon.
Pal remained at the top of his game in 1911 battling some of the best fighters in the world. Win, lose, or draw Moore always gave a good account of himself. In April the paper had him a loser against Freddie Welsh in New York. He twice met Harlem Tommy Murphy in rematches dropping a newspaper decision and then holding Tommy to a draw. He won a clear-cut decision over Battling Nelson on October 17th in Boston. He gave Nelson quite a going over in that one.
In 1912 Pal drew with Owen Moran and then lost a twenty round decision to Jack Britton. He was a newspaper winner over Johnny Dundee but ended the year losing to Charley White and Joe Shugrue. In 1913, he again lost to White and had a no contest with Britton. 1914 he again met Dundee. He also had two battles with Young Abe Brown. On September 7th he met the great Benny Leonard and lost a newspaper decision after ten torrid rounds. In 1915 according to newspaper accounts Pal lost all five of his fights. Among his losses was a ten rounder to Shugrue.
By 1916 Pal's career was slowing down and in 1917 he suffered two major setbackslosing by knockout to Paul Doyle and on May 14th a two round stoppage at the hands of George "KO" Chaney. He finished 1917 with three fights after the Chaneydebacle. There are no fights on record for Pal in 1918. In 1919 he fought once against Al Thompson. Pal had his last recorded fight on March 20, 1920 winning a newspaper decision over ten rounds against Johnny Herman in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. Pal passed away on December 20, 1942 in Philadelphia.
Some other notable boxers that Pal met during his distinguished career were Knockout Brown, Jimmy Walsh, Tommy Maloney, Dick Hyland, Matty Baldwin, Johnny Griffith, Patsy Cline, and Frankie Callahan.
Although Pal was probably the most famous of the "Fighting Moore Brothers," Reddy, Frankie, and Willie carved out respectable careers. Also brother Al and Harry boxed and oldest brother Charley was a bare-knuckle saloon brawler. A special thank you to Joe Cassidy of Cleveland who is Willie's grandson for providing me with much of the information.
One of Youngstown's finest from the 1940's and early 50's has been all but forgotten. Only the die hard local boxing fans remember just how tough Joey Carkido was.
Joey Carkido racked up an impressive 33-3 record as an amatuer boxer before turning professional in 1945. As a pro he won 46 of his first 50 fights against some rugged customers like Vic Moreno, Pete Manchio, Ray Salas and Ross Anzalone.
On December 8, 1947 Joey fought the first of four world champions he would meet in his distinguised career. Paddy DeMarco halted Joey in seven rounds.
The year 1948 was an up and down year for Joey. He won only five of 16 fights while losing 8 and drawing in three. In 1949 Joey again lost more then he won but it was against top flight competition like Ron Delaney and another champ, Lew Jenkins.
On April 3, 1950 Joey scored the biggest win of his career when he outpointed Beau Jack over ten rounds. In his next match he dropped a ten round duke to Charley Fusari. As you can see Joey didn't fight too many stiffs. Still there were more losses then victories.
In 1951 kayo losses to Chuck Taylor and Johnny Saxton pushed Joey out of the big leagues. He would lose all four of his 1952 contests.
In 98 professional fights Joey retired with a respectable 59-32-7 record. He boxed several times at Madison Square Garden.
In 1988 he was inducted into the Trumbull County of Ohio Legends Of Leather Hall Of Fame. A worthy tribute to a fine fighter.
On his way to his first meeting with Duran, Esteban had lost just once and that was to W.B.A. featherweight champion Antonio Gomez in a non-title fight. He defeated Josque Marquez twice, Victor Ortiz, Lionel Hernandez, Percy Hayles, Angel Robinson Garcia, and Cleveland's Chuck Wilburn. After his victory over Duran, Estsban defeated the classy Johnny Gant and former junior welterweight titleholder, Alfonso Frazier. These victories finally set up a title shot against Duran. On March 16, 1974 in Panama City, Esteban again decked Duran in the first round. this time though Roberto was in much better condition and he gradually wore down his formidable foe stopping Esteban in round eleven.
One year later De Jesus moved up in weight and challenged Antonio Cervantes for the junior welterweight championship. Once again Esteban faded down the stretch as he dropped a fifteen round decision. Again one year later De Jesus received yet another title opportunity. He was matched with W.B.C. lightweight champion "Guts" Suzuki. Showing his true class Esteban Dominated Suzuki to win an easy decision and the crown. De Jesus would defend his title successfully three times thus setting up the rubber match with Duran for the undisputed title.
Duran-De Jesus III was held in Las Vegas and this much anticipated "Superfight" would determine once and for all who was the world's best lightweight. In possibly the best performance of his career Duran proved his superiority halting Estsban in round twelve. De Jesus would come back and put together another win streak that included a victory over Edwin Viruet. Once more De Jesus was granted a title shot. This time he would meet W.B.C. junior welterweight champion Saoul Mamby. The bout took place on July 7, 1980 and the signs of Esteban's obviously eroding skills were there for all to see. Mamby finally halted an exhausted and outclassed De Jesus in round thirteen. The final chapter in this fine, but yet tragic career. Esteban would never gain full acceptance as lightweight champion although only the great Duran could master him. Esteban's final ledger is as follows; 62 bouts, 57 victories, and only 5 defeats. He scored 32 knockouts and he was stopped 3 times. All of his setbacks were to world champions, Gomez, Duran twice, Cervantes, and Mamby.
The bad luck that dogged Esteban's career was only an omen of things to come. Not long after his retirement Esteban was involved in a traffic dispute during which he shot and killed a seventeen year old youth. For this crime De Jesus was sentenced to life in prison. While in prison De Jesus was infected with AIDS. Bedridden and dying Esteban received a surprise visit from none other then his old adversary, Roberto Duran. In a moment of compassion completely out of character for the mean and macho Duran, he had come to pay his respects. He had come to show his admiration for his toughest foe. He also knew in his heart that Esteban was a true champion.
Marvis Frazier - The Lost SonThe camera rolls and the highlight clip begins. It shows a young, undefeated but green Marvis Frazier dancing while taunting heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. In the blink of an eye Holmes unloads a right hand sucker shot that sends Marvis backward and into a sprawled position on the canvas. Marvis showing he is a true Frazier gamely arises. Quickly Holmes pins him in a corner and pummels him unmercifully till the ref intervenes. The look on Frazier's face isn't so much a look of pain. It is a bewildered, shellshocked look like Ken Norton had after Gerry Cooney had worked him over in a corner. A look that said "What the hell hit me ?"
Now fast forward to another highlight clip. A not quite ready for prime time Mike Tyson is waiting in his corner to do battle with Marvis Frazier. This is considered a good test for Tyson at this stage of his budding career.
The bell sounds and within seconds Tyson is on top of Marvis forcing him into a corner. Then Mike connects with one of the most vicious uppercuts of all time. The punch appears to nearly lift Frazier's head clear off his shoulders. The follow up is needless, Marvis is done.
Today when the name Marvis Frazier is mentioned those two film clips come to mind. Holmes and Tyson both destroyed him. Marvis was just the over hyped son of " Smokin' Joe ". How wrong this is. Truth be told, Marvis Frazier was a very capable fighter.
Marvis boxed not slugged his way to over 50 amateur wins. He was considered the best U.S amateur heavyweight until suffering a shocking one punch, one round kayo loss to James Broad. The kayo punch pinched a nerve in his neck and shelved his career. Corrective surgery started Marvis on the road to his professional career.
Many blame father Joe for changing Marvis from a boxer to a puncher. To try and mold Marvis into his unique slugging style. A style he was not really suited for. They said Marvis was too small to slug with the big brutes of the division. There may be some truth to this. Still Marvis enjoyed some success against much bigger and competent foes.
He would meet Broad in a rematch at the professional level. This was not the fat, sloppy looking Broad most of us remember. This was a big but trim and in shape James Broad. It went ten rounds and Marvis using speed, great defense and accurate punching beat him fair and square.
Marvis would also outspeed and out hustle a bigger and talented Joe Bugner. Joe was no slouch. He had traveled 27 rounds in two fights with Muhammad Ali. Bugner had also gone twelve rugged rounds with Papa Joe.
After the Holmes debacle Marvis won a tough decision over Bonecrusher Smith. In a gutsy performance Marvis got off the canvas to win a close verdict.
Mike Tyson put the exclamation point on the career of Marvis. The son of Joe never really got his just due. How would he have done if he boxed as a cruiserweight ? How would he have fared against the likes of Holyfield, Qawi or DeLeon in this bastard division ? It is a shame that we will never know.
Please remember Marvis as more then a whipping boy for Holmes and Tyson. Remember him for more then just being Joe Frazier's boy. Instead remember Marvis for his talent and his courage. Remember him as a fighter.
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