Date: 11th June 1982
Venue: Caesars Palace, Outdoor Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Title: WBC World Heavyweight Title
Promoted by: Don King Productions, Tiffany Promotions
Tv: HBO, ABC
( 39 - 0 - 0 )
Weight: 212 1/2 lbs
( 25 - 0 - 0 )
Weight: 225 1/2 lbs
In one of the most anticipated heavyweight title fights in history, Holmes made the 11th defence of his WBC title against Cooney at The Caesars Palace, Outdoor Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada with a crowd of 29,284 in attendance.
Both management teams and promoter Don King were guilty of using race to build-up the fight, “This is a white and black fight,” King said.
Dennis Rappaport, one of Cooney's co-managers saying about his charge, “He’s not the white man, he’s the right man.”
Despite the build-up, the fight was a see-saw battle worthy of its expectation. Holmes floored Cooney in the 2nd round but the New Yorker came back strongly. Cooney would have 3 points taken away for low blows by referee Mills Lane but it didn't matter because Holmes ended matters in the 13th round, battering a defenceless Cooney until Victor Valle, Cooney's trainer entered the ring to wave the fight off.
Holmes and Cooney later became close friends.