Larry Holmes: Five Minutes With

By Anson Wainwright

The great Larry Holmes may have retired over a decade ago but he’ll be forever remembered for what he achieved in a 29-year-pro career. He held a version of the heavyweight title for 7½ years and amassed 20 successful defenses. Only Joe Louis made more consecutive defenses. Today, the 64-year-old enjoys life and stays occupied with his nightclub and also family.

When he looks at his former division, he’s decidedly unimpressed adding “it sucks!” - though he offers hope for the future “They have that guy over in England Anthony Joshua, he’s pretty good.”

Born: November 3rd, 1949 in Cuthbert, Georgia, USA

Record Pro: 69 wins, 6 loses, 44 knockouts

Amateur: 19 wins, 3 loses

Childhood hero: Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali

Nickname: “The Easton Assassin”

Childhood Dream: “I wanted to be a truck driver. As I got older I got a job driving trucks. I decided that wasn’t for me.”

Earliest Boxing Memory: “My earliest memory is at the boys and girls club, I had fun doing that but I never thought it would go as far as it did, but as I grew older I wanted to go professional and I did.”

Favorite Movie: “I used to like John Wayne a lot and Clint Eastwood, I like exciting movies.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “Winning the championship from Ken Norton. I got a chance to meet Joe Louis, I got to work with Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Floyd Patterson. I got to meet those guys and that was something I never thought would happen. To meet guys like Clint Eastwood and Lee Majors I was happy. I played in a movie as the fall guy with Lee Majors.”

Most Painful moment: “Beating Muhammad Ali. I knew he didn’t have too much and then I had to fight him, that wasn’t real good for me.”

Favorite meal: “I like a lot of stuff. When my wife cooks.”

Pre fight feeling: “Always nervous, but not nervous when I went into the ring.”

Pre fight meal: “When I was getting ready to fight it was hard for me to eat, my stomach, my nerves. But I ate a lot of the protein foods, eggs, potatoes.”

Any funny Boxing memories: “After the fight with Muhammad Ali I went to his room I said 'man, you knew you couldn’t beat me but I love you man' and he said to me 'if you love me why did you beat me up.'”

Toughest Opponent: “Ken Norton, June 9th, 1978 - that's when I won the heavyweight title of the world.”

Hardest Puncher: “Earnie Shavers was the hardest puncher I fought, a lot of people try to say Mike Tyson or George Foreman but no I think Earnie Shavers was the man.”

Fight I was at my best: “I was at my very best when I fought Kenny Norton in spite of my injured arm.”

Worst Injury: “When I fought Kenny Norton, I pulled a ligament in my arm.”

Favorite boxers to watch : “I liked watching (Muhammad) Ali fight. Today I like to watch (Floyd) Mayweather (Jr.) but hasn’t really showed me too much.”

Qualities in people I most admire: “Attitude mainly, if they’ve got a good attitude it’s fine. I don’t like anybody with a bad attitude.”

Residence: “I live in Easton, Pennsylvania.”

Family: “I’m married to Diane, we’ve been married for 33 years. We’ve been together about 35/36 years. Our marriage is great. Our son Larry Jr. is good with college, he has a bachelors degree with Computer Science. My wife she stays at home. We have a daughter Kandy, she’s married. We have a grandson. Everything is great.”

Hobbies away from boxing: “I run a nightclub so I’m involved in that.”
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at

Tags: boxing image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Slick Veteran on 09-01-2014

I wish an American heavy with skills like Larry show up again. It's amazing how at one time boxing was the sport many youth wanted to go into, but eventually the leagues of American sports became lucrative.

Comment by turnedup on 09-01-2014

That Floyd quote should've led to an elaboration of what he means, we've heard from alot of vets but i'd be curious to to have him elaborate more on it.

Comment by richardt on 09-01-2014

For a guy with a limited amateur career, Holmes looked more like a guy with an extensive one. He really knew the fundamentals early on. One of my favorites. In a prime vs prime he beats Lennox Lewis.

Comment by TLC8 on 09-01-2014

Always loved Larry Holmes. He never backed off anyone. Even past his prime he climbed in with a prime Mike Tyson. Clearly one of the all time greats , and his EPIC war with Ken Norton, coming down to the…

Comment by Lou Cipher on 09-01-2014

Larry ducked Foreman. Just kidding. Met Larry at his bar in Easton earlier this year. Hr was real cool. My chick was with me. He asked "well who was the girl here with you last week?" Ha. His belts are…

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