Amateur Boxing

Holmes, Cooney at Cornwall's Boxing for Change

By Kevin Gould, Cornwall Standard-Freeholder
Thursday, March 22, 2018 2:42:32 EDT PM
Gerry Cooney is coming back, and he's bringing a friend.

Cooney was at last year's Boxing for Change, an event for the Children's Treatment Centre that mixes a few amateur bouts with a whole lot of fundraising. The former heavyweight fighter is returning for this year's event - - taking place on Saturday, May 26 at the Cornwall Civic Complex - - and he'll have Larry Holmes with him.

"Very fortunate we were able to get both of them," said Jorge Luis, who handles the boxing side of things for the event.

Holmes is a former heavyweight champion and considered one of the all-time greats in the sport. He fought (and defeated) many of the top fighters of his era, including Ken Norton, Muhammad Ali, Earnie Shavers and yes, Cooney.

"That was one of the big ones," recalls Luis, a boxing aficionado. "The Great White Hope is what they called Cooney. He never liked that moniker. It's what it was at the time I guess.

"I remember the buildup to that fight especially. I was 18 at the time and fighting as an amateur. If I remember correctly, they showed the fight on a big screen at the civic complex, sort of a theatre atmosphere. I watched it there.

"They (Holmes and Cooney) became good friends over the years, and it was Gerry who actually helped convince Larry to come here."

Local attorney Sean Adams also had a hand in getting Holmes to attend.

"At last year's event, I kept saying (to Cooney), "next year you'll have to come back and you'll have to bring Larry Holmes'," said Adams, a longtime fundraiser for the Children's Treatment Centre. "I thought he was just being polite in saying, "yes, yes, yes', but he kept saying it."

A few months ago, Adams put in the call to Cooney, reminding him of the "promise". Cooney contacted Holmes and got a number for Adams to reach him at.

"I asked him (Cooney), "what's he going to say?'," said Adams. "He said, "it's up to you, but you have a fighting chance'."

Score it a knockout for Adams.

"He doesn't do these types of things very often, but he saw the great work that the Children's Treatment Centre does and I think it was an easy decision for him," said Adams.

Holmes and Cooney are part of a promotional video created for the event.

"It will be a great, great evening for everyone," said Adams.

"We know the demand will be high, so we have the ice surface, at the civic complex."

The event was previously held at the Nav Centre.

There will be music as well - - a performance by Les Respectables, who once opened for the Rolling Stones. Adams said there will also be another, as yet unannounced musical guest.

There is also the amateur boxing of course.

"The boxing card on its own is something to see," said Adams. "Jorge does a great job in getting fighters here - - from Quebec, Ontario and the U.S."

Just interested in the boxing? Not a problem. This year there is an option for just that.

For $15 (tickets available through the civic complex box office), you can watch the fights, and the intermission, where Holmes will be interviewed.

In the past, Luis has done the interviewing honours, but a professional sportscaster will be used this year, with the name to be announced soon.

There is also of course the full dinner event option. For ticket information contact the Children's Treatment Centre at 613-933-4400.