To Ken Hissner: Ask Larry “Easton Assassin” Holmes who is greater, he or Muhammad Ali, and he’ll say, “Me!”
Holmes from Easton, Pennsylvania, Boxrec goes 11-3. He was knocked out and in his second fight was stopped by the Air Force and Southpaw Nick Wells of Texas. He lost to Duane Bobic in his 1972 Olympic trials by his DQ for excessive retention. He defeated Philly Marvin Stinson twice and later used him as his sparring partner.
As a professional, Holmes made his debut in March 1973 and won his first 17 fights at number 17 against his first major opponent, Duane Bobick’s brother Rodney (34-5). In April 1976, he defeated Philadelphia’s Roy “Tiger” Williams in his 22nd game, his 23-4 win.
Five fights later, Holmes won a 12-round decision in the WBC Title Eliminator against the ranked first contender with a 54-6-1 hard-hitting Ernie “Black Destroyer” Shaver.
This earned Holmes a title fight against WBC champion Ken Norton (40-4) three months later, winning by split decision. Norton adviser Bobby Goodman told me at Ali’s home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Holmes’ fourth defense saw him in a rematch with Shavers, who was 59-7-1, and found himself on the canvas in the seventh round, but came back to stop Shavers in the eleventh round.
In his eighth defense, Holmes stopped former champion Muhammad Ali, who was once his sparring partner at training camp in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania.
When I visited Ali at his camp and saw how fat and out of shape he was, I asked. You used to have the best physique among the champions, but look at you now.
In Ali’s penultimate fight, Holmes stopped him. Ali was followed by 18-1-1 future champion Trevor Berbick to finish his career.
Holmes continued his defense by beating former champions Leon Spinks (10-2-2), Renaldo Snipes (22-0) and Jerry Cooney (25-0) all by stops. In his next fight, he defeated Randall “Tex” Cobb by his 20-2 record, winning every round, and the commentator’s blow was so brutal that Howard Cosell retired from the boxing match. gave. It was like two wins in one.
Holmes went 42-0 when he won a contested split decision over Ali’s former sparring partner and future world champion, future champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, 15-0.
Two games later, “Smokin” Joe Frazier pitted Holmes’ son Marvis as the 10-0 sacrificial lamb against the 44-0 Holmes. It’s because of the whip your dad gave me at the gym!
Next for Holmes was future champion James “Bonecrusher” Smith, who went 14-1 and stopped him in the 12th round to add to the vacant IBF title. Two games later, Holmes won on his second contested decision. This time, he beat Carl “The Truth” Williams 16-0. One judge gave it to Holmes 143-142.
Now 48-0 after this fight, Holmes in 1985 was poised to be beaten. That opponent was Olympic gold medalist and world light heavyweight champion Michael “Jinx” Spinks (27-0), who defeated Holmes by his 15-round unanimous decision. Holmes then said, “Marciano couldn’t wear my jockstrap! He was referring to Marciano’s 49-0 record. He said nothing about Spinks beating him.” I didn’t.
In the rematch, Holmes lost a controversial 15-round split decision to Spinks. After three fights, Spinks was destroyed by “Iron” Mike Tyson in the first round. Mike Tyson has annihilated Holmes before. The then-champion lost twice to Spinks in four rounds. As soon as the 32-0 Tyson put a thick skin on Holmes, he was on his bike. Holmes later claimed, “When he caught me, I caught his arm on the rope trying to land his punch!”
Holmes (53-3) had an above-average five-game winning streak when he met former Olympic gold medalist Ray Mercer (18-0). Holmes gave Mercer boxing lessons and easily defeated him.
In Holmes’ next fight, he lost to former Olympic gold medalist and world champion Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, 27-0 decision.
With seven more wins over average opponents, Holmes lost 25–5 to WBC world champion Oliver McCall by unanimous decision in the round of 12. McCall had beaten Lennox “Lion” Lewis in his last fight.
After four more wins against average opponents, Holmes traveled to Denmark where he lost 31-0 to Danish IBO champion “Super” Bryan Nielsen. The first time Nielsen lost, he was 49-0. In Holmes’ next three fights, he beat two former champions 44-16-1 and Mike “Hercules” Weaver 41-17-1 in rematches with “Bonecrusher” Smith, before going on to win the title. Defeated Eric “Butterbean” in the final match. Esch, 65-2-3, known as the “King of Four Rounders”, accepts a 10-round bout. In the tenth and final round, Holmes hit the canvas after being caught by a punch or having his foot stepped on by Esch. Holmes retired in July 2002, 29 years after his debut, with 69-6 and 44 suspensions after this bout.
There is a fight with the fans there. How good was Larry “Easton Assassin” Holmes, or, as Ali nicknamed him, “Peanuthead”?