Advertisement: IBO Boxing
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com
Advertisement

Larry Holmes: Current Heavyweights "Couldn't Stand A Chance" In My Era

Heavyweight boxing has returned to its status as the sport’s glamour division for the first time in over two decades, but if you ask Hall of Fame fighter Larry Holmes, it still doesn’t pass the smell test.

In fact, Holmes declared that the current crop of heavyweights couldn’t even have a fighting chance during his heyday.

“They couldn’t stand a chance when I was fighting. When I was fighting … [it’s] no contest,” Holmes told YouTube channel Pro Boxing Fans. “We’d beat these guys up. They don’t have the abilities that we have, but they would’ve given us a pretty good fight. But, when you got guys like Kenny Norton, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Ron Lyle, Larry Holmes, we got a lot of good fighters out there when I was fighting.”

wilder-joshua-fury

The multiple-time heavyweight champion Holmes (69-6, 44 KOs) competed from 1973 to 2002. His career was highlighted with wins over Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton, Earnie Shavers (twice), Trevor Berbick, Leon Spinks, Gerry Cooney and Ray Mercer, as well as losses to Michael Spinks (twice), Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.

Today’s pool of top-tier big boys include Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Oleksandr Usyk, Dillian Whyte, Andy Ruiz Jr., Joseph Parker, Luis Ortiz, Alexander Povetkin, Kubrat Pulev, Oscar Rivas and Michael Hunter.

When asked how he’d fare against the group, Holmes quipped, “Well, I’m 70 years old, so… yeah, well this isn’t my time, you wouldn’t hear of these guys.”

The Easton Assassin got his break into boxing when he started serving as Ali and Joe Frazier’s sparring partner. Holmes also shed light on those days as well.

“Yeah, well you want to learn how to fight, you got to start with the best. So I asked Ali to give me a job as his sparring partner, and he said to me, ‘Can you take it?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I can take it,’” said Holmes. “So he gave me a job to test me out for a couple of weeks, and then I was okay for him … and that was it, and then next thing you know, I had a job and same thing with Joe Frazier. The word was out that I was a good boxer, and I worked with Ali and then Joe Frazier.

“My intention was not to be a good sparring partner. My intention was to make some money, and box with the best fighters, and learn from them as I can. And that’s what I did.

“It felt good boxing Ali because I knew what he could do. I knew because I sparred with him, I knew what he could do. His jab was like my jab, his jab was fast, my jab was a little bit faster … But I just learned everything I can learn from Muhammad Ali, I stayed at his camp. I ate there, he took care of me and that was okay.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by markther on 07-17-2020

The “REAL Holmes era” ages below when they fought Holmes. I omitted Ali who was past his prime. And I omitted Tyson when Holmes was past his prime. I am also going back to 1978 to see what other HW…

Comment by paulf on 07-17-2020

[IMG]https://i.imgflip.com/fef3x.jpg[/IMG]

Comment by Liondw on 07-17-2020

Only Tyson Fury would be competitive with the greats of the past. Today's heavyweights, most of them are crap, and that is the truth.

Comment by Nash out on 07-17-2020

[QUOTE=Boxviewer;20660562]What is special abot Fury? Fury a cruiser Cummingham knocked down and had resort to dirty tactics and officially got warned for that? There's nothing special about Fury.[/QUOTE] Fury wasn't special then. He was 24, still finding his way, but…

Comment by Phill lynott on 07-17-2020

Thanks to a great champ for bringing up fantastic memories! Truth too!

ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (83)
Advertisement
Top Headlines
Omar Juarez: Time To Go In The Ring And Have Fun Doing What I Do Best Daily Bread Mailbag: Spence-Garcia, Charlos, Pacquiao, More Anthony Fowler Eyes Ted Cheeseman, Sam Eggington Fights Dulorme: Whether In L.A. Or Minnesota, Judges Can Turn In Bad Scorecards Hearn on Harper-Jonas: We Have To See That Fight Again! James: Dulorme Has Fought Tough Opposition But So Have I Lopez Manager: Very Little Effort From Top Rank To Get Lomachenko Fight Done Terri Harper, Natasha Jonas Wage War, Battle To a Draw Anthony Fowler, Chris Billam-Smith Get Big TKO Wins Hopey Price: I Think I Proved That I Can Adapt To Any Situation Tureano Johnson: I Believe I am The Best Option For Canelo Leo Santa Cruz: Gervonta Davis Will Make Weight - Or Pay Big Fine When Hell Froze in British Boxing Hearn: Fury-Wilder Trilogy Must Happen in 2020 - Or Fury Faces Whyte! Sergio Martinez Does Not Rule Out Future Crack at Ryota Murata David Morrell, Lennox Allen - Set To Collide in LA Jamal James, Thomas Dulorme - Ready For Title Clash Kerman Lejarraga, Tyrone Nurse on Weight For Clash in Spain Jamal James-Thomas Dulorme Weigh-In Results From Los Angeles Linares Out, Fortuna In Search Of New Opponent Ryan Garcia-Luke Campbell - WBC Orders Fight To Purse Bid Terri Harper, Natasha Jonas Go To War, Fight Ends in Split Draw Terri Harper vs. Natasha Jonas - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Anthony Fowler Beats Down, Stops Adam Harper in Seventh Hopey Price Boxes Past Jonny Phillips For Decision Win Chris Billam-Smith Crushes Thorley To Retain Commonwealth Title Wilbert "Skeeter" McClure Dies At Age 81 BoxingScene.com's Television Pick of The Week - August 7 Alantez Fox On Standby For Showtime's Benavidez-Angulo Main Event Tyson Fury Starts His Own Foundation in Morecambe Linares Tests Positive For COVID-19 Ahead Of Scheduled Aug. 28 Clash With Fortuna Carl Frampton Hopes Jamel Herring Fight Still Happens in 2020 James: Morrell Hits Like A Sledgehammer; Will Make Serious Noise In His Division Dulorme: I've Fought A Lot Better Fighters Than James; That'll Show In The Fight Terri Harper: Pressure is on Jonas, Last Opportunity To Prove Herself Natasha Jonas: I'm Physically, Mentally Better Than I Have Ever Been Chris Billam-Smith Says No Risk of Facing Stablemate Lawrence Okolie Tim Tszyu: Horn Didn't Win Two Seconds of Crawford Fight WBC Prez is Firm: Wilder-Fury Winner Must Face Whyte Next Stefy Bull on Terri Harper/Mikaela Mayer War of Words
Advertisement
Advertisement
Latest Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement