View Full Version : Larry Holmes On His Fight With Ali.


JB16
10-13-2009, 12:30 PM
When the Holmes-Ali match was announced, the oddsmakers made me a 3-1 favorite remembered Holmes.

The odds would narrow by a lot, as money came in backing Ali. That was understanble. The publics affection for and support of Muhammad ran deep. But anybody who wagered on Ali for reasons other than sentiment- who truly belived he was still the fighter he had been in his prime- was deluded.

Ali had not been the same since he and smoking Joe went at it in Manila in 75. The fight had seen the last flicker of his genius. And even then he was an athlete in decline.

In fact, one of his corner men, the doctor Ferdie Pacheco, had abandoned the Ali camp in 77 as a kind of statement. He felt that Ali risked permanenet injury by continuing to fight and should retire.

In the five years since the Thrilla in Manila, Ali had gotten victories that owed more to his popularity than to his performance, against Jimmy Young(April 76) and against Ken Norton(September 76). And after that he had only gotten older and slower, incapble of the kind of movement and volume of punching that had made him unique among Heavyweights.

Never mind that he had regained the title for the third time against Leon Spinks in 78. Spinks was a boxing beginner, and the fight Ali waged against him was a nonfight, with Ali and holding and playacting at aggression. He'd bull****ted his way to victory, and everyone pretended it was the greatest thing since the wright brothers got there plain up at Kitty Hawk.

Hell, Spinks had had eight fights when he'd beaten Ali. He was raw and inexperienced- a boxer who'd been lucky to get a draw against Scott Le Doux in a earlier fight. Yet folks wanted to view Ali as still being the man who could float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. It was emperor's clothes. Nobody wanted to say Ali had been stripped naked of the gift he'd had.

It put me in a tricky situation. A no win situation, really. What would it prove if I beat a 38 year old Ali? Not much. People would do an about face on Muhammad and say, ''Well it wasn't the real Ali''

And if I lost- as impossible as that seemed to me- it would be disastrous. It would negate and nullify all that I had accomplished. I told the press that if that were to happen, I would quit the sport.

Yet what could I do? I belived Ali had no business fighting me. He was far past his prime and, I sincerely belived, would be batting practise for me. I did not relish the idea of beating him up in public view.

If, however I tried to wriggle out of a fight with him, ot would make me look lame- as if I was afraid. Afraid? Please. Since the mid seventies, I belived I could whip the man, and suspected he had come to the same conclussion too. How else to account for his avoiding me as a time I was a world- ranked fighter, and instead taking on chumps like Wepner, Jean Pierre Coopman, Richard Dunn and Evangelista.

Ali was my friend. I was fond of the man, and grateful for his help in my career. He was no saint, even if here at the end of his career, folks were beginning to think of him as one.

I had seen moments of bad behavior- abusing sparring parthers and taunting opponents cruelly. I had seen Ali who could be self absorbed and occassionally cruel those close to him. Yet for the most part he was a good man, generous and enormous fun to be around.

''Larry Holmes''

hayZ
10-13-2009, 12:43 PM
Great article.

Yaman
10-13-2009, 01:04 PM
Holmes to Ali is what Kobe is to Jordan. He admires the man but deep down inside he always tried to be greater.

ABOSWORTH
10-13-2009, 01:42 PM
Good read. Thanks for posting that.

mrboxer
10-13-2009, 01:49 PM
what is holmes trying to say,any one could of beat ali at that time,ali should of retired after the foreman fight,if holmes fought ali when both were in their primes ali would of one by first round kayo,holmes is lucky to have even been a champion,if he were fighting today he would not even be in the top 100:boxing:

Mr Boxing9
10-13-2009, 02:07 PM
what is holmes trying to say,any one could of beat ali at that time,ali should of retired after the foreman fight,if holmes fought ali when both were in their primes ali would of one by first round kayo,holmes is lucky to have even been a champion,if he were fighting today he would not even be in the top 100:boxing:

you are a ****ing idiot! it's people like u why this forum is crap!

stefjonno1
10-13-2009, 02:07 PM
what is holmes trying to say,any one could of beat ali at that time,ali should of retired after the foreman fight,if holmes fought ali when both were in their primes ali would of one by first round kayo,holmes is lucky to have even been a champion,if he were fighting today he would not even be in the top 100:boxing:


Lol nonsense.




Great read, Larry speaks the truth.

larry x
10-13-2009, 05:30 PM
good article..ali took that fight simply for money..but could holmes beat ali in the mid 70's???not sure about that...

bojangles1987
10-13-2009, 07:16 PM
Holmes to Ali is what Kobe is to Jordan. He admires the man but deep down inside he always tried to be greater.

That is a really good analogy as far as style as well. Just like Kobe plays a lot like Jordan but isn't as great, Holmes fought a lot like Ali but was never quite as good.

American_Ninja
10-14-2009, 10:40 AM
Ali abused sparring partners? LoL, thats funny.
Isnt that why he paid them?

Tyson abused sparring partners, forreal.

hayZ
10-14-2009, 10:51 AM
Ali abused sparring partners? LoL, thats funny.
Isnt that why he paid them?


I think he meant verbally mate.