The California Athletic Commission voted unanimously Friday to deny former heavyweight contender Jerry Quarry a boxing license. Quarry, 45, must wait a year before reapplying.
If Quarry, who has not fought in seven years, had been granted a license, he would have tried to arrange a bout against former heavyweight champion George Foreman, 42.
Quarry angrily left the room after the decision was announced. Asked to comment on the decision, he said: "That's typical of the athletic commission. I don't really want to say anything more. Talk to my trainer."
Quarry's trainer, Guy Ditmars, said: "I don't think this is fair. He still looks better than Foreman. If Foreman can do it, why can't Jerry? I hope he's not too demoralized. I know he's not going to quit."
Ditmars said Quarry, whose application for a boxing license was also rejected by the Nevada Athletic Commission last March, might apply in Oklahoma and Louisiana, where he has offers to fight.
However, the California Athletic Commission has ruled that anyone aiding a boxer who has been denied a license in this state to obtain a license in another state might be subject to disciplinary action.
"I think they're just trying to push Jerry under the carpet," said Ditmars, adding that Quarry might take legal action against the commission.
After Quarry was thwarted by Nevada last spring, he scheduled a comeback bout against Paul Bradshaw June 9 in Lake Geneva, Wis. Quarry would have been permitted to fight there because Wisconsin has no boxing commission and the state's Department of Regulation and Licensing, which licenses boxers, does not recognize decisions by other states' commissions. But the bout was canceled after Quarry suffered a cut over his right eye in an altercation with co-promoter John Ellis, a former heavyweight boxer.
After applying for a California license last month, Quarry was granted a sparring permit and was evaluated by three commission members during a three-round sparring match Aug. 23 against amateur John Bray. Two of the three observers rated Quarry's skills as unsatisfactory.
Dale Ashley, assistant chief inspector for the athletic commission, said Quarry appeared out of condition during the sparring session, adding: "We found that he lacked the boxing skills to box a top-notch or even a mediocre journeyman fighter."
Steven English, assistant executive officer of the commission, said Quarry appeared overweight at 216 pounds. Quarry weighed 195 for his last fight.
"He showed slow movement, and some reflex and timing was off," English said. "He lacked hand speed and the ability to put together a combination. He threw one combination in the whole three rounds."
However, Ditmars said Quarry had flu when he was evaluated and requested that Quarry be re-evaluated.
"We almost called it off because he was very ill, but it was very important so we went ahead with it," Ditmars said.
Quarry, who compiled a record of 53-8-4, last fought Nov. 23, 1983, when he won a 10-round split decision over James Williams in Bakersfield. Quarry required 52 stitches in his face.
Quarry lost heavyweight championship fights to Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Floyd Patterson.