I had called my brother in the United States to see what's really cracking and in cases like this we normally talked about eighties pugilists and flamboyant boxers. Just to make an argument, I had picked Gerry Cooney to whoop Larry Holmes even though I knew Holmes would destroy the white man's hope. I had been reading the The Ring magazine and other boxing journals that wrote extensively about Cooney's power punch and how he had floored Ken Norton in round one at the Madison Square Garden in 1981.
As we talked frequently on the phone, my brother had insisted Holmes would destroy Cooney and that Cooney wasn't going to last. "A no contest," he would say. What do I know, really, other than reading boxing journals and besides, have not watched any of Holmes' or Cooney's fights live on close-circuit or pay-per-view. Each time we talk on the phone, even on other personal and family issues, my brother never says bye without mentioning the Holmes-Cooney fight with all amounts of impunity that Holmes will come out smoking on June 11, 1982.
So, too, the talks around town within the Lagos metropolis gisted about the upcoming bout and where to see it live on close-circuit. The airwaves, though, did a good job. We were kept posted on the press conferences regarding "The Great White Hope" never seen in 22 years after Rocky Marciano whose 49-0-0 record has not been broken.
Eventually Holmes and Cooney digged it out after all that jazzy talks and hypes favoring Cooney on my tally to demolish Holmes. I was wrong. Cooney who graced the cover of Time Magazine and a series of publications did not live to his creed as anticipated. Holmes dropped Cooney in round two sending a signal that Cooney would soon be history. I'm not sure how Cooney did it dragging the fight to the 13th round when Cooney's trainer threw in the towel saying enough is enough. The fight was one of the eighties best promoted bouts.