SiriusXM host and former professional boxer Gerry Cooney stops by the studio to discuss his new book, “Gentleman Gerry: A Contender in the Ring, A Champion in Recovery,” which tells the story of his abusive childhood, his successful boxing career, and the role his faith played in his recovery from alcoholism.
Gerry explains that writing the book was therapeutic for him. “It got everything out,” he says. “It exposed a lot of things that I hadn’t exposed. When I stopped drinking, I went through a process of learning about myself and figuring out how I got all of these flaws … Writing was a healing process for me. I loved it.”
Gerry shares how he got involved with boxing. “I had a rage inside of me,” he says. “Boxing helped release the anger I had from what was going on in my house. And then they put my picture in the paper after every fight, and it made me somebody. That’s how I took to fighting. I never really loved fighting, it was just my way to survive.”
As kids, Gerry and his brothers suffered physical and verbal abuse at the hands of their father, who was an alcoholic. Gerry’s father frequently told him that he would never amount to much. “When I started boxing I wanted to prove my father wrong. Eventually, I started drinking.”
Struggling with alcoholism, Gerry credits his faith with helping him turn his life around.
“I think God followed me around and took care of me … in 1988 I cried out to God, I said, ‘God please help me. You gotta help me.’ And the desire to drink went away in that moment, I swear to you … I haven’t had a drink since that day.”
“I’m so blessed with where I am today in my life and the joy I’ve learned from recovery and my life with God,” Gerry says. “I found out that I’m one little grain of sand. I’m not all that. I’m one little grain of sand passing through here, trying to figure it out to get to a nicer place, and maybe help some people along the way.”