JERRY QUARRY/MUHAMMAD ALI I
Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta, GA
October 26, 1970
Ali won a 3rd round TKO
JERRY QUARRY/MUHAMMAD ALI II
Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
June 27, 1972
Ali won a 7th round TKO
About Jerry Quarry
Born May 15, 1945 in Bakersfield, CA
Died January 3, 1999
Career record: 53 wins (32 KO), 9 defeats, 4 draws
"Irish", "The Bellflower Bomber"
Quarry was ranked the number one heavyweight in the world at least four times between 1968 and 1974, but he had the misfortune of contending in an era of three great champions. A hero to his large Irish-American family, Quarry's father, also a pro boxer, first put boxing gloves on his son when he was just five years old. Quarry had fast hands, an excellent left hook, a good chin and a tendency to cut easily. He used his considerable talents to win the 1965 National Golden Gloves Championship in Kansas City when he was 19 years old. Quarry was the only ranked heavyweight who was willing to climb into the ring with Ali after his return from exile. The match was competitive until Ali opened a deep cut over Quarry's eye. The fight was stopped before the fourth round.
Quarry won two more fights and was ranked number two before his second match-up with Ali. Quarry's brother Mike was on the card that night, as well, and the event was promoted by Don King as the "Soul Brothers vs. the Quarry Brothers". Once again, Quarry lost by TKO, though this time he lasted until the seventh round.
Three failed marriages and several failed business ventures kept Quarry in the ring for several more years. Although Quarry appeared healthy, his performance on several simple cognitive tests was very poor. The mental decline (dementia pugilistica or the atrophy of the brain from repeated blows to the head) that would destroy Quarry's final years had already begun.
By 1990, Quarry's multi-million dollar life savings had evaporated and he was on social security. Even though he was denied a boxing license in most states, he was able to get one in Colorado and scheduled an October 30, 1992 fight with Ron Cramner, a boxer 16 years younger than him. This would be Quarry's final fight, one that he lost on points. Within a few years, he was unable to feed or dress himself, and was cared for mainly by his brother James, the only one of the four Quarry brothers who never fought professionally. Quarry suffered cardiac arrest after contacting pneumonia and died early in 1999. A foundation to honor his memory was established to fight boxing-related dementia.