Gerry Cooney yesterday announced his retirement from boxing because all attempts for a rematch with heavyweight champion Larry Holmes have been futile.
Cooney, a 6-foot-6 fighter who leaves the ring 27-1 with 24 knockouts, had been pursuing Holmes in an effort to erase the only blot on his career. Holmes, the current International Boxing Federation champion, scored a 13th-round knockout of Cooney in their June 11, 1982 meeting.
Cooney's manager, Dennis Rappaport, said the fighter could not get motivated for any opponent besides Holmes. "Gerry couldn't get up for these other guys," Rappaport said. "He always wanted another shot at Larry but it has become abundantly clear that Holmes has no intention of giving Gerry a rematch. That being the case, Gerry felt he couldn't deceive the public by giving anything less than his best against other opponents."
Cooney turned pro in 1977 and won his first 25 fights until the bout with Holmes. After the defeat, he sat out nearly 27 months recovering from hand surgery and an assortment of other injuries. Cooney finally returned to the ring last September, knocking out Phil Brown in the fourth round. Cooney added a second-round knockout of George Chaplin in December. Cooney had been scheduled to fight New York heavyweight Eddie Gregg.