Of all the ill-considered boxing comebacks lately, Jerry Quarry's may be the most comically bad. Except for a brief return to the ring in 1983, Quarry, 45, a onetime heavyweight contender, hasn't fought since 1977. Nevada and California, citing concerns for his safety, have already told him they won't grant him a license to fight. Of late, Quarry's backers, following the unfortunate example of Aaron Pryor (SCORECARD, May 21), have been trying to schedule a fight for him in Wisconsin, a state with no boxing commission. Two weeks ago, however, Wisconsin refused to grant a permit for a June 9 bout in Lake Geneva between Quarry and club fighter Paul Bradshaw because the promoters had filed an incomplete application.
Last week the promoters said that Quarry wouldn't be able to fight for a while anyway because—darned luck!—he had been struck near the right eye by the door of a kitchen cabinet and had suffered a bad gash. That story turned out to be a blatant cover-up: Quarry had indeed suffered a bad gash—during what the Walworth County, Wis., sheriff's department calls "a mutual combative situation" involving Quarry and John Ellis, one of the promoters. Ellis, a former pro fighter of little note, allegedly punched Quarry during a disagreement and inflicted the wound, which required nine stitches to close.
Take a hint, Jerry.
YOU'RE ALL HYPE, GOLIATH
Until this year there had never been much controversy surrounding the annual Jumping Frog Jubilee, a whimsical event inspired by the Mark Twain story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" and held at the Calaveras County, Calif., fairgrounds near Angels Camp. But in January, Andy Koffman of Seattle, an importer of exotic wildlife, announced that he was entering several Goliath frogs from Africa in the jubilee. These frogs are as much as a yard long when fully extended, and Koffman claimed that his could jump more than three times farther than any American bullfrog in the event.
Organizers fretted that their contest would be no contest, and owners of rival frogs feared that Koffman's sharp-toothed, carnivorous Goliaths might literally eat up the field. Nevertheless, in March, Jubilee officials agreed to let Koffman enter his Goliaths.
The jubilee was finally held three weeks ago, and we're pleased to report that Koffman's three Goliath frogs finished a humbling 60th, 62nd and 63rd in a field of 63 finalists and didn't lay a tooth on another frog. The winner was a one-pound California-born bullfrog named Help Mr. Wizard, who in his three allotted hops jumped a total of 19'3", defeating Koffman's best leaper by 11'5".
A TREAT FOR THE DUTCH
With play in the world cup set to begin this week, British oddsmakers have made Italy a 3-to-1 favorite and the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates the longest of long shots, at 2,000 to 1. No serious handicapper gives the U.S., the U.A.E., Costa Rica, Egypt, Cameroon or South Korea much of a chance of surviving Round 1.
But it's no simple task to divine which two of the 24 Cup teams will reach the July 8 final in Rome—or even which 16 will advance to the second round. For example, on the Czech squad, which opens against the U.S. on June 10 in Florence, there has been dissension over the inclusion of stars Lubos Kubik and Ivo Knoflicek, who defected to the West in 1988 and missed all the qualifying games. Even the mighty Italians could be vulnerable. They've scored only twice in seven international warmup games and are traditionally nervous starters.