Jerry played football at Father Judge under this writer’s cousin assistant coach Al Hissner and Kerry at St. Joe’s Prep. Both fought as heavyweights and both had winning records. Both were originally from Bensalem, PA. Who said brothers cannot be alike?
When Jerry finished his boxing career in 1979 his brother Kerry Judge debuted in 1980 to keep the name of Judge in the record books. Jerry fought the likes of world champion Larry “Easton Assassin” Holmes, the original “Rocky” Chuck Wepner and British light heavyweight champion Bunny Johnson.
Jerry knocked out current boxing judge George Hill in his second fight. He stopped Philly’s Harold Darlington twice in the fourth round. He put Pittsburgh’s Jimmy McClain, 8-2, into retirement with a fourth round knockout. He made the CYL in Scranton his “second home” knocking out Joe Jones and Tommy Hicks, 9-3-2, in 1970, stopping Chuck Wepner, 21-7-2, in 1971. He had his thirteen bout including one draw winning streak broken by Bunny Johnson, 21-4, in London, UK.
Jerry returned to the US and knocked out “Wild” Bill Hardney, 15-17-1, at the Philadelphia Arena and defeated by two unbeaten boxers in Obie English, 3-0, in Philly and taking his first loss at the Scranton CYC to future world champion Larry Holmes, 5-0, by decision.
In Jerry’s next two fights he scored knockouts over Jerry Huston, 15-3, and the Byrdstown Bomber” Jerry Evans, 27-9, in Scranton. Three months later in Berlin, Germany he was knocked out by Nigerian Noozika Ekweium, 9-2-4. Nine months later Jerry had his return to the ring after nine months and defeated Jersey City’s Rodell Dupree, over 8 rounds, Nutley, NJ.
In February 1997 Jerry promoted and fought on his own show in the Main Event getting stopped in 3 rounds by Harold Carter in 3 rounds. Is that like “paying someone to knock you out or what?” It would be a little over two years before he returned and it was in Scranton’s CYC losing to Tyrone Harlee, 8-9-1, over 6 rounds.
Just 18 days later in May of 1979 Jerry ended his career with a knockout over Atlantic City’s Robert Colay, 1-3, (not the singer Robert Goulet) who was coming off a knockout win at the West Side Complex in Atlantic City, NJ. He was inducted into the PAB HOF in 2017.
Jerry was 31 when he retired he was living in Margate, NJ, then Scranton for close to 20 years and now Cape May Court, NJ. His final record was 17-8-1 (14). In those 26 fights it seems he is best remembered for being one of the “Toronto Five” boxers in an exhibition with “Big” George Foreman, who was coming off losing his heavyweight title to Muhammad Ali. Included in his 5 opponents all scheduled for 3 rounds each besides Jerry were South Africa’s Pierre Coetzer, Terry Daniels of Beaumont, TX, Charley Polite of Springfield, MASS, from Renton, Washington, was Boone Kirkman. At ringside were Howard Cosell, Muhammad Ali and Don King with Ali taunting Foreman throughout the entire “circus!”
Jerry’s brother Kerry turned professional in April of 1980 under trainer Carmen Graziano. He won his first 5 fights before getting stopped on one of the 5 shows his brother Jerry promoted. Kerry after suffering his second defeat won 8 of his last 9 fights. His final record was 14-3 (7), while living in Warminster, PA.
Kerry did 5 of his fights at the Golden Eagle Caterers in Philadelphia winning all 5. His final 2 bouts were at the Neil Armstrong Middle School in Bensalem where he lost and then won which was his final career fight. His first loss in his fifth fight was also at the same school. He was 2-2 in his former home town of Bensalem.
For years Kerry did an amateur boxing event on Thanksgiving Eve. He works with the government and a part time bartender at the VBA Ring One Club in Port Richmond section of Philadelphia where I am a member of the club and on the PAB HOF board.
Both brothers agreed to answer some questions.
KEN HISSNER: Jerry I was there the night you knocked out now boxing judge George Hill. It was your second pro fight. Did that kind of make up from losing your pro debut? Speaking of that, you fight a guy 5-1 in a 6 round fight. Not a good idea.
JERRY JUDGE: I had Hill down several times. In the 5-1 fight it was in Maine and not a good idea on my manager’s decision.
KEN HISSNER: Starting with the Hill win you go 12-0-1 before losing to Jamaica’s Bunny Johnson a very good boxer in London in your first 10 rounder. How was the decision?
JERRY JUDGE: I thought I would have got the decision in the states.
KEN HISSNER: You had some good wins at the CYC Center in Scranton, PA, beating Joe Jones, Chuck Wepner, Tommy Hicks and Jerry Evans only losing to Larry Holmes and Tyrone Harlee there. Was that a favorite place for you?
JERRY JUDGE: Yeah, it definitely was. Stopping Wepner was my biggest win there.
KEN HISSNER: When you won your last fight knocking out Robert Colay in Atlantic City did you know your career ended that night?
JERRY JUDGE: Not really. I would have fought again for the right price but I was happy to end it that night.
KEN HISSNER: How many shows did you promote?
JERRY JUDGE: 5 shows and an amateur show boxing an exhibition with my brother. He kicked my ass.
KEN HISSNER: Speaking of promoting Kerry you promoted amateur shows on Thanksgiving Eve how many times?
KERRY JUDGE: 14 shows altogether from 1982 and I was allowed to box on the first show doing an exhibition. From 1997 until 2009
KEN HISSNER: Kerry in your third fight you beat Scranton’s Jerry Foley, 10-8, in Bensalem over 8 rounds. How did you prepare for that many rounds in just your third fight?
KERRY JUDGE: I had a promoter who had a lot of balls, named Carmen Graziano. I ran 4 miles in the morning and 4 at night.
KEN HISSNER: Kerry you went 5-0 before losing to Melvin Epps in Bensalem. Did the promoter set you up?
KERRY JUDGE: No. My brother promoted it. I could beat him 99 out of 100. I just got caught. No excuses.
KEN HISSNER: Then you beat Roger Troupe for a second time a year later but this time in 6 rounds not 4. Did it take a year to get over that first loss?
KERRY JUDGE: Basically I was back in the gym after the Epps fight. Joe Wareham was also helping Carmen training me. It was a tough fight to come back too.
KEN HISSNER: You won 5 straight times at the Golden Eagle Caterers in Philly. Was that a favorite spot for you?
KERRY JUDGE: Yeah, it was a favorite spot of mine. We grew up in that area.
KEN HISSNER: You went 5 years without a fight from 1984 to 1989 and come back and beat Billy Marks, 2-1, over 6 rounds. Mark’s son Billy fought a couple of years ago. Why the long layoff?
KERRY JUDGE: Married in 1983 and had a family. It was hard to work full time and trying to get time to go to the gym. I fought Billy Marks with 3 broken ribs and had my nose broke. That was with Bruce Seldon. I couldn’t throw a right hand for it was incredible pain.
KEN HISSNER: Kerry you fought four times at the Neil Armstrong Middle School but got a knockout win in your last fight there. How rewarding was that?
KERRY JUDGE: Promoter was Mickey Haulck. He called me the night before a show due to a couple of fighters falling out. I was overweight and it was my son’s birthday. You have to put me on first even though it was an 8 round fight. Saad Muhammad was at ringside. My opponent was aggressive and I dropped him 3 times in the first round and they stopped the fight.
KEN HISSNER: Kerry you were trained by Carmen Graziano. How much fun was that?
KERRY JUDGE: He was always good to me and a very intelligent guy. He was fun with a lot of jokes. When I made a comeback I won 2 of 3.
KEN HISSNER: I want to thank the both of you for taking the time to answer some questions:
JERRY JUDGE: If you hadn’t lost your flash drive we wouldn’t be doing this again!
KERRY JUDGE: I want to thank you and we appreciate it. I have good memories and regrets.