LARRY HOLMES/MUHAMMAD ALI
Caesarâ€™s Palace, Las Vegas, NV
October 2, 1980
Holmes won an 11th round KO
About Larry Holmes
Born November 3, 1949 in Cuthbert, GA
Grew up and currently resides in Easton, PA
Career record: 69 wins (44 KO), 6 defeats (1 KO)
Holmes, the eldest of 12 children, dropped out of school in the seventh grade and took a one dollar an hour car wash job to help support his family. He also drove a dump truck and worked in a quarry before he turned to professional boxing. Early in his pro boxing career, he was a successful sparring partner for Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Earnie Shavers and Jimmy Young. The very first time he stepped into the ring as Ali's sparring partner, Ali gave him a black eye. Holmes refused treatment: he wanted to go back to Easton and "show everybody the black eye I got from Muhammad Ali."
His success as a sparring partner for so many great champions prompted Holmes' decision to become a pro. He speculated that if he could hold his own against Ali and the others, he'd only get better in the ring as he matured and learned from the best. He was right. He won his first forty-eight professional match-ups, including his 1980 bout with Ali who was gunning for his fourth and unprecedented heavyweight title. Holmes dominated from the very beginning of the fight, and Ali's corner stopped the fight after the tenth round. Holmes was the WBC Heavyweight Champion from 1978 to 1983, Ring Magazine Heavyweight Champion from 1980 to 1985 and the IBF Heavyweight Champion from 1983 to 1985. During his years as champ, he made 20 successful title defenses - only Joe Louis had more - and in his book "A Hard Road to Glory", Arthur Ashe called Holmes "the most underrated and under-publicized heavyweight champion in history."
In 1998, Holmes co-authored with Phil Berger "Against the Odds", an autobiography he hopes will encourage people to persevere and pursue their goals, however unattainable they may seem. Overcoming hardships and poverty, "against the odds, I succeeded", says Holmes.
While still boxing professionally, Holmes founded Larry Holmes Enterprises, Inc., a real estate and property management company and built it into a hugely successful business. By the turn of the 20th Century, the company held more than thirteen million dollars in real estate, including Larry Holmes' Ringside Restaurant and L&D Holmes Plaza, which houses Larry Holmes Enterprises corporate offices, both in Easton, Pennsylvania. The city of Easton has gifted Holmes with a 9-foot bronze replica of the "Easton Assassin". It will be placed on Larry Holmes Drive, right across the street from his restaurant.