Larry Holmes (nickname, The Easton Assassin.) was a heavyweight champion from 1978 to 1983. His left jab is considered one of the greatest weapons in the history of sports. He made 20 successful title defenses, second only to Joe Louis‘ 25.
His victories over respected fighters such as Ken Norton, Muhammad Ali, Gerry Cooney, and Tim Witherspoon ranked him as one of the greatest heavyweight fighters of all-time.
Early boxing career
Holmes had an amateur record of 19-3,and turned professional on March 21, 1973, winning a four-round decision against Rodell Dupree. Early in his career, he worked as a sparring partner for Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Earnie Shavers, and Jimmy Young.
Holmes gained credibility as a contender when he beat the hard-punching Earnie Shavers in March 1978. Holmes won a twelve-round unanimous decision, and then got a title shot against the WBC Heavyweight Champion Ken Norton in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 9, 1978.
Holmes vs Norton title fight
The fight was a tough, and after fourteen rounds, all three judges had the fight scored dead even at seven rounds each. Holmes rallied late in the fifteenth to win the round on two scorecards and take the title by a split decision.
Holmes VS Sheavers II
On September 28, 1979, Holmes had a rematch with Shavers, who got a title shot by knocking out Ken Norton in one round. Holmes dominated the first six rounds,but in the seventh, Shavers sent Holmes down with a devastating overhand right but he got up, survived the round, and went on to stop Shavers in the eleventh.
Holmes vs Ali
In an attempt to become the first four-time World Heavyweight Champion Ali came out of retirement. He challenged Holmes for the title and On October 2, 1980, (at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas) the fight was arranged. Holmes dominated Ali from start to finish, winning every round on every scorecard. At the end of the tenth round, Ali’s trainer, Angelo Dundee, stopped the fight. Ali later would blame his poor performance on thyroid medication that he had been taking, claiming that it helped him lose weight but it also left him drained for the fight.
Muhammad Ali vs. Larry Holmes Video
On June 11, 1982, Holmes defended his title against Gerry Cooney, the undefeated #1 contender. Holmes dropped Cooney with a right in the second. Cooney came back well in the next two rounds, jarring Holmes with his powerful left hook. In the thirteenth, a barrage of punches sent Cooney down. He got up, but his trainer, Victor Valle, stepped into the ring and stopped the fight.
Disputed split decision
On May 23, 1983, Holmes defended his title against Tim Witherspoon who had only 15 professional bouts to his name. After twelve rounds, Holmes retained the title by a disputed split decision in one of the ten most controversial decisions of all time.
Holmes vs Spinks I
On September 21, 1985, Holmes lost the IBF title by a close fifteen-round unanimous decision to Michael Spinks, If Holmes had been victorious against Spinks, he would have tied Rocky Marciano’s career record of 49-0. After the fight, a bitter Holmes said, “Rocky Marciano couldn’t carry my jockstrap.” Holmes received a lot of criticism for the remarks. Shortly afterward, he apologized.
Holmes vs Spinks II
Holmes had a rematch with Spinks on April 19, 1986. Spinks retained the title with a disputed fifteen-round split decision. Again in a post-fight interview , Holmes said, “the judges, the referees and promoters can kiss me where the sun don’t shine – and because we’re on HBO, that’s my big black behind.
On November 6, 1986, three days after his 37th birthday, Holmes announced his retirement.
Comebacks and fight again Mike Tyson
On January 22, 1988, Holmes was lured out of retirement to challenge reigning Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson. Tyson dropped Holmes in the fourth round with an overhand right. Holmes got up, but Tyson put him down two more times in the round, and the fight was stopped. After the fight Holmes once again retired.
Larry Holmes vs Mike Tyson Video
Holmes returned to the ring in 1991. After five straight wins, he fought Ray Mercer, the undefeated 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist, on February 7, 1992. Holmes pulled off the upset and won by a twelve-round unanimous decision. The win got Holmes a shot at Evander Holyfield for the Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship. On June 19, 1992, Holyfield defeated Holmes by a twelve-round unanimous decision.
Holmes won seven consecutive fights and then got another title shot. On April 8, 1995, he fought Oliver McCall for the WBC title. Holmes lost by a close twelve-round unanimous decision. Two of the judges had him losing by only one point, while the other judge had him losing by three points.
Photos of Larry Holmes
Holder of the title : June 9, 1978-December 11, 1983
Nickname :Easton Assassin
Height :6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Reach :81 in (206 cm)
Birth date :November 3, 1949 (1949-11-03) (age 61)
Total fights : 75
Wins by KO:44
Website : http://www.larryholmes.com/