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Mac Foster Vs Jerry Quarry- June 17th 1970
by Joe Krause, interviewing the Man in the Corner, James Quarry
"I worked Jerry's corner that night by being in the right place in the right time. I was driving a truck and had been in Montreal, Canada. We deadheaded to New York to see if we could just get there to see the fight. It turned out I got my license and worked out that I was able to get in free and work the corner. I was the water person and make sure his mouthpiece was rinsed." James Quarry, Jerry's brother who worked in Jerry's corner that night.
As Mac Foster walked to the ring that night there was a hush in the Madison Square Garden. This would be the first New York appearance for Mac, and his reputation preceded him. Twenty-four fights, twenty Four knockouts. He had beaten everyone in his path with a swiftness that could only be called shocking. He had knocked out Cleveland Williams twice in a home-and-home series in Fresno and Houston. Williams was past his prime, but he was still a big notch on the belt for Foster. Foster had also beaten Thad Spencer and Jack O'Halloran in one-round demolitions. While none of the names on his resume were top five contenders, the swiftness with which they were dispatched was very impressive. It had taken even George Foreman five rounds to dispatch of O'Halloran, where it took Foster less than three minutes. His opponent this night would be Jerry Quarry. Quarry was younger then Foster by two years, but experience-wise there was no contest. Quarry had been in with Ali and Frazier and had already fought for some version of the heavyweight title two times. Quarry was said to be nearly washed up at the ripe age of 25. He had lost to George Chuvalo by knockout just three fights ago, and most people didn't like his chances after defeating George (Scrapiron) Johnson by decision. Foster was a 6-1 favorite, and Sonny Liston was so sure that Mac was going to win that he bet his whole purse of his victory over Chuck Wepner. Foster was a wrecking ball, and nobody said Quarry didn't get hit. Sure, Quarry had a good chin, but there was no way he would last with a destroyer like Foster- that was the common thought by those in the know.
James Quarry, had this to say regarding Jerry's feelings on Mac before the fight and the fight itself. "Jerry had a lot of respect for Mac Foster. Anyone who can get to 24 wins with no losses with 24 knock outs, deserves respect. What we did know about Mac Foster was he was a mechanical fighter. Technically he was perfect. All combinations came off the left jab. His hands were always up to protect his head. Mac Foster never intimidated Jerry. Jerry knew he had more experience than Mac."
"This was my first time in Madison Square Garden. I was very excited. After the fighters were introduced and the bell rang, I knew Jerry was in trouble. He had just got tagged with a right hand that rocked him real good. Foster's punches were short, straight and to the point, Jerry's chin. His reach was tremendous. Jerry could not seem to open up in the first three rounds. He tried everything. I remember Jerry walking back to his corner after the bell rang; he had a puzzled look on his face. I asked 'What's wrong?' He said, 'I just can't get to this guy.' This made me mad. I jumped all over Jerry. I said, 'Jerry, remember what we talked about before the fight, about Foster being very mechanical?' Jerry said yes. I said, 'If you don't keep you f---in hands up and start punching to the body, I'm going to kick your F---in ass.' I screamed this in his ear as loud as I could. Jerry turned the fight around going into the fourth round. By the end of the fourth and especially the fifth Jerry was landing that big left hook to the body along with some strong right had shots. Foster's guard began to drop. He had never felt a body attack like that. The rest is history. As it turned out Jerry was the most dangerous of the heavies for Foster that night. Reason being, Jerry was rated number five in the world at that time. Jerry was considered to be on the way out. He had lost to Frazier and Chuvalo. Foster was number one and was favored. This only inspired Jerry more. He wanted to prove they were all wrong, that he was not washed up. Jerry was for the most part at his best when no one thought he had a chance. Just look back on his career. That is what made him so great with the fans-his heart. 'There ain't no Quit in a Quarry,' he would always say after Jerry retired from boxing and the dementia was setting in."
We founded "The Jerry Quarry Foundation" for Dementia Pugilistica. Please visit Jerry's web page on the web, www.jerryquarry.com you can view some of Jerry's fights and see what TJQF is all about. Tell us what you think on the letter page. We are making contact sports safer!!! Simply by making the world more aware!!!
There was no quit in Quarry that night or any night. Some of the punches Foster landed would have had almost any man looking up from the canvas. This was clearly the best Foster was in his career. The fighter that faced Ali was not the same one who began this fight. With Gil Clancy in his corner that night, he started the fight a world beater, but after throwing his best shots and seeing the other man still standing, Mac Foster became confused and was never the same fighter again. A truly memorable night, a truly memorable fight.
Come visit my Heavyweights of the 60's-70's Website. It has over 250 records and fight recaps with complete round by round scoring for many fights involving my featured fighters (Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Quarry, Holmes, Norton, Shavers, Lyle, Ellis). The address is