THE FORGOTTEN GREAT WHITE HOPE
As Muhammad Ali ruled the heavyweight division in the mid 60's, white hope contenders came and went. Henry Cooper, George Chuvalo and Karl Mildenberger all were vanquished by the "Greatest". When Ali was forced to relinquish his crown in 1967, the best of the white contenders was probably Jerry Quarry. By 1969 a huge brute of a man named Jack O'Halloran had compiled an impressive 16-1-1 record. Standing at around 6'6 and weighing in the vecinity of 125lbs., Jack struck fear into opponents by his mere bulk. In 1969 he upgraded his opposition with mixed results. He dropped decisions to Joe "King" Roman, Joe Bugner and Tony Doyle. On August 19th he was halted by rugged "Florida" Al Jones. In turn he outscored Carl Gizzi and stopped Mexican contender Manuel Ramos in seven rounds.
On January 26th, 1970 in New York Jack was kayoed by George Foreman in five rounds. On April 9th he was destroyed in one round by Mac Foster. Jack lost a rematch with Roman but he did manage to outpoint Britisher Danny McAliden. 1971 was a dismal year for Jack as he lost to Jack Bodell, John Griffin, Ron Stander and Ron Lyle. Jack did decision Cleveland Williams and he kayoed Terry Daniels.
Big Jack made his move in 1972 as he fought his way into the heavyweight ratings. On March 17th he lost a ten round donnybrook to future champion Kenny Norton. Many felt this was one of the best bouts between big men on the west coast in years. On June 16th Jack dropped a verdict to a highly regarded Henry Clark. On August 10th in what became Jack's career highlight, he won a twelve round rematch with clark for the California State heavyweight title. One month later he halted Ali's brother Rudy Clay in eight rounds. Quickly Jack put out a challenge to Muhammad to avenge his brother's loss. Luckily for Jack the ex-champ had other commitments.
Jack started 1973 where he left off in 1972. He pounded out a ten round decision over Al "Blue" Lewis. He then split a pair of knockouts with Jimmy Summerville. On June 8th Jack lost the California State title to Howard "Kay" Smith via a twelve round points call. Jack then dropped back to back verdicts to Boone Kirkiman and Koli Vailee. On December 5th Big Jack was stopped in nine rounds by Larry Middleton. That loss pretty much finished Jack as a viable contender. In all Jack fought two world champions and seven others challenged for the crown. Also include top contenders such as Al Jones, Al Lewis, Mac Foster, Henry Clark, Boone Kirkman and Larry Middleton and you can see Jack did battle with the cream of the crop.