His heavyweight reign was overshadowed by the spectre of Muhammad Ali and was the prelude to Mike Tyson rise as a future heavyweight. Larry Holmes was the Rodney Dangerfield of Boxing…he got no respect, he wasn’t Ali … even Sugar Ray Leonard in the lower weight classes got more attention and way more respect, in the heavyweight division Ken Norton, Gerry Cooney and Mike Weaver, John Tate all got more respect than the man known as the Easton Assassin …Larry Holmes. Holmes was Ali sparring partner. Ali wanted no parts of an up and coming Larry Holmes and knew his time was coming to a close. Holmes took no shortcuts to the heavyweight title and took on all comers before and during his time as heavyweight champ. The fight against Ken Norton turned out to be a true slugfest with both men leaving it all out there in the 15th and final round for the WBC version of the heavyweight title.Holmes won a close decision and wnet on to hold the heavyweight title for nearly seven years against Earnie Shavers, Marvis Frazier son of former heavyweight champ Joe frazier, White plains, NY’s Reneldo Snipes, and a slugger named Gerry Cooney. Cooney’s best punch was a left hook that dropped many a tough heavy weight and it was assumed he would lift the heavyweight title from Holmes. Yet Holmes proved to be better than everyone thought and Cooney was stopped in the 13th round of their heavyweight title fight. In his prime Holmes beat another slugger Mike (Hercules ) Weaver in which both men dropped the other and finally Holmes getting the better of Weaver in a 12th round knockout. Holmes was closing in on Rocky Marciano’s streak of 50-0and appeared to be heading that way when he fought Michael Spinks to defend his title. Spinks was a Lightheavy making his way intot the heavyweight ranks and the thought was Holmes was too big too strong and too good for Spinks…the fight went the distance and Holmes lost a controversial decision to Spinks ending his unbeaten streak and it would be the last time Holmes would ever be crowned heavyweight champ. Yet the one fight that pained him the most was against his friend, mentor and former sparring partner …Muhammad Ali. Ali bored in retirement and looking to recapture past glory challenged Holmes for the heavyweight title. If Ali won he would be the only man to win the title 4 times (he was already the first to win it 3 times) It would the worse beaten Ali would suffer in his career not answering the bell in the 11th round.It was the one fight that Holmes felt the worse about asking Ali why did you make me beat you like that? Holmes was panned for beating up a washed up Ali. Had Ali won the fight or made a better showing the talk would been against Holmes, so it was a no win situation.The shadow of Ali loomed large and Holmes was never giving the proper credit for being a great champion in his own right. So today Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday gives credit to a true great heavyweight champ…Larry Holmes the Easton Assassin.
Published by bklynboy59
Welcome to Smallthoughtsinasportsworld. We keep it fun and we keep interesting and informative. On Tuesdays we go back in time with Old School Tuesdays, on Thursdays we keep it fun by Smallthoughts Trivia Thursday and on Fridays ...it is Smallthoughts: Rant of the Week and Smallthoughts:Rave of the Week and we also post the answer from Smallthoughts:Trivia Thursday. I am a lifelong New York Mets, Knicks and Jets and Giants fan. I root hard for my teams and have rooted for them even when it wasn't and in some cases still isn't easy. I enjoy talking sports, and on here I get to write about it as well. I have my thoughts hence Small thoughts, we will not always agree, but respectfully speak about what we feel. I invite your comments and feedback as well. You can also follow me on twitter @bklynboy59 and facebook Jerry bklynboy Small View more posts