Boxing Only


Larry Holmes

Larry Holmes Profile Image
  • Nickname: The Easton Assassin
  • Date of Birth: 3rd November 1949 (74 years old)
  • Retired: 27th July 2002 (Career length: 29 years 4 months)
  • Status: Retired
  • Nationality: USA Flag USA
  • Birthplace: Cuthbert, Georgia, USA Flag Cuthbert, Georgia, USA
  • Residence: Easton, Pennsylvania, USA Flag Easton, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Division: Heavyweight
  • Height: 191cm
  • Reach: 206cm
  • Stance: Orthodox
  • BoxRec: Larry Holmes
  • Debut: 21st March 1973

Biography

Larry Holmes, born November 3, 1949, in Easton, Pennsylvania, is a former professional boxer who dominated the heavyweight division from 1978 to 1985. Known for his exceptional left jab, Holmes is considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxers ever.

Growing up in Easton, Holmes dropped out of school in the seventh grade to support his family, working at a car wash and driving a dump truck. He discovered boxing at the age of 18 and quickly made a name for himself in the amateur ranks, compiling a record of 19-3.

As a professional, Holmes initially worked as a sparring partner for boxing greats such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and Earnie Shavers. He gained recognition as a serious contender when he upset the hard-hitting Shavers in March 1978, setting up a title shot against WBC Heavyweight Champion Ken Norton.

On June 9, 1978, Holmes defeated Norton in a closely contested split decision to claim the WBC title. He went on to defend his title successfully against contenders like Mike Weaver, Earnie Shavers, and Gerry Cooney. In a highly publicized bout on October 2, 1980, Holmes dominated 38-year-old Muhammad Ali, handing him the only stoppage loss of his career.

Holmes's reign as champion continued with victories over Trevor Berbick, Leon Spinks, and Renaldo Snipes. In 1983, he relinquished the WBC title and accepted recognition from the newly formed International Boxing Federation (IBF).

On September 21, 1985, Holmes faced Michael Spinks, the undisputed light heavyweight champion, in a bid to equal Rocky Marciano's 49 consecutive wins without a loss. In a shocking upset, Spinks defeated Holmes by unanimous decision, becoming the first reigning light heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight title. Seven months later, Holmes lost a rematch to Spinks in a disputed split decision.

After announcing his retirement in 1986, Holmes made several comebacks. In 1988, he challenged Mike Tyson for the undisputed heavyweight title, suffering the only knockout loss of his career. Holmes continued to fight throughout the 1990s, notably defeating Ray Mercer in 1992 and challenging Evander Holyfield and Oliver McCall for world titles.

Holmes's final fight was a 2002 victory over Eric "Butterbean" Esch. He ended his career with 69 wins and six losses, all of which came in world title fights.

Outside the ring, Holmes invested wisely, owning various businesses in his hometown of Easton. He has been married to Diane Robinson since 1979, with whom he has two children. He also has three daughters from previous relationships.

Larry Holmes's exceptional skills, longevity, and dominance during his prime have cemented his place among the greatest heavyweights in boxing history. His induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008 is a testament to his enduring legacy.