#OTD in 1999 – Death of boxer ‘Irish’ Jerry Quarry. ‘Irish’ Jerry Quarry who is the only fighter to have fought Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier twice.

Jerry Quarry, nicknamed ‘Irish’ or ‘The Bellflower Bomber,’ was an American heavyweight boxer. Quarry was rated by Ring Magazine as the most popular fighter in the sport, from 1968–1971, during the peak of his career, partly because he was promoted as the ‘Great White Hope.’

Quarry was a durable and smart counter-puncher/action fighter, often noted for his surprising agility in the ring. He had fast hands, an excellent left hook, and punched well with both hands. He also had a remarkable chin, although his major flaw was a tendency to cut easily and the bad luck to box in the era of Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Patterson and Norton. He was six feet (1.83 metres) tall and weighed 195-pounds (88 kilograms) in his prime, which whilst comparable to many heavyweight boxers then, still put him on the slightly smaller side of the division. He would today be considered cruiser-weight.

He was the most visible of a significant fighting family, which included three other pro boxers (his father and two brothers). Quarry’s father first put gloves on his son at five years. His career, he felt, was decided for him at a very young age.

‘Irish’ Jerry Quarry who is the only fighter to have fought Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier twice. He lost each time and was virtually a punch bag for Ali in their second fight. Quarry was a very brave fighter as many YouTube videos will attest, but he paid a brutal price for twenty-eight years in the ring and a record of 53-9-4 33 ko’s. He was suffering from dementia pugilistica at the time of his death at the age of 43.


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