Retired heavyweight boxer Gerry Cooney smiles from his courtside seat...

Retired heavyweight boxer Gerry Cooney smiles from his courtside seat during the first half of an NBA game between the New York Knicks and the Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden in New York, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. Credit: AP

Like much of the boxing world, Gerry Cooney plans to spend a few days in Las Vegas in three weeks.

Unlike much of the boxing world, he will be out of town by May 2, the day Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao meet in one of the most anticipated bouts of the century.

Cooney will be otherwise engaged in Hoboken, New Jersey, at a fundraiser for Youth Consultation Service, at which he will get into the ring for three rounds apiece against a lawyer and an accountant.

"I called Mayweather and asked if he could change the date, and he wouldn't do it," Cooney said, laughing.

Not that he minds. Whitman High's own "Gentleman Gerry" has his priorities in order at age 58 -- the past 27 of which he said have been alcohol-free -- and reports feeling pretty darn good, both physically and spiritually, for an old heavyweight.

That includes still boxing to stay fit and support charitable endeavors.

"Let me tell you something: Last Tuesday I boxed 14 rounds with 20- and 21-year-olds," Cooney said. "So I'm in great shape. I love this game and it's a great game and I want to promote it as best I can."

These are good times for that.

Mayweather-Pacquiao has aroused the interest of casual fans at the same time impresario Al Haymon has backed cards not only on cable TV but also on all three old-school broadcast networks -- NBC, CBS and ABC.

The latest "Premier Boxing Champions" show is set for Saturday at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, with NBC giving it prime-time treatment and SiriusXM offering satellite radio coverage.

Cooney will call the bouts on radio with Randy Gordon, fellow Long Islander, boxing journalist and former chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission. The two host a twice-weekly show, "At the Fights," on SiriusXM.

"There are a lot of people who are skeptical about it, as I was," Cooney said of Haymon's initiative. "How can this guy come in and take over like this? As it's turning out, he's done a great job.

"Boxing is coming back to my house and to your house and to the people down the street who don't have cable and these young kids are getting a chance to see the game. I get chills talking to you about it."

Not that Cooney is naïve about the underside of boxing. He knows too many people who have been economically and/or physically damaged by it, and he still laments how promoter Don King limited his own career back in the early 1980s.

That is why he has worked over the years to help former boxers in need. But Cooney still wants to see the sport succeed, under the right circumstances. Thus his rooting interest in Haymon's economics proving sustainable.

"I grew up in a terrible household; boxing was a way for me to express my anger," he said. "Then they put my picture in the paper and made me somebody.

"Those dreams are going to be fulfilled again [for young fighters]. It is so great for this game. I pray with you that it stays."

Cooney marveled at the money the fighters are expected to make May 2.

"I fought [Larry] Holmes in '82 and made a big payday, but it's chump change compared to now," he said.

Cooney made $10 million for that much-anticipated title bout, which Holmes won in the 13th round, but "actually it came out to $8.5 million."

That doesn't sound too bad.

"Listen, I'm very proud of it," he said, "but these guys are making $100 million. I wish I was fighting Holmes today. But he won't fight me."

Cooney has lived in New Jersey for the past 17 years, but he has family still on Long Island and makes the trip for charitable events -- preferably on golf courses.

Being ringside in Brooklyn, in his home region, will be "amazing," he said. But being inside the ring in Hoboken on May 2 will be special, too.

"I never get a decision. I get robbed all these years," he said of his charity bouts. "But we have a great time, and we raise money for the kids so they can go to school and camps and programs kids don't get the chance to do anymore."

Afterward there will be a Mayweather-Pacquiao viewing party at the W Hotel in Hoboken, which Cooney plans to attend even if he "might be a little banged up."

He called himself "the luckiest man in the world. I have a great family. I've had great health along the way. I survived."

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