Outside the Ring: Larry Holmes

By Jill Diamond on February 4, 2017
Outside the Ring: Larry Holmes
No one can question his talent, his business acumen, and his devotion to his family.

“I proved people wrong who said I couldn’t do something—like becoming the boxing champion of the world…”

Sports and Philanthropy: A series of articles dedicated to those who’ve given their all and still give more. Each article will feature a different community champion; no belts, no medals, no ratings… just good people passing it on.

This will be one of the world’s smallest interviews with one of the world’s biggest champions. Mr. Larry Holmes, born and raised in Easton, Pennsylvania, rightly known as “The Easton Assassin.” No one can question his talent, his business acumen, and his devotion to his family. And after 48 professional wins, no one should try.

Mr. Holmes is straightforward and amusing, and despite his gift for brevity, the little he says tells all. So, I give you more of a jab than a combination… as a short closing deserves a short opening…  here you go.

Tell me a little about your background and how you got into boxing.

I was always athletic inclined. Dropping out of school limited what I could play, I was at PAL and they showed me to boxing, I was good at it, so I continued. 

What does your hometown mean to you?

It’s a place to raise a family.

What organizations do you work with?

None

What awards have you gotten?

Too many to list; many city and state ones and awards from around the world

Tell me about the plan behind the building of your statue.

I raised the funds needed to finish the statue. 

What makes you the proudest?

To be able to do what I want, when I want.

A story you’d like to share?

I proved people wrong who said I couldn’t do something—like becoming the boxing champion of the world.

Who inspired you?

Joe Frazier, Ali, Tony Dorsett, OJ.

Who hurt you?

All the people that said I couldn’t. Not being recognized what I did.

What does family mean to you?

Everything!!

If you could change anything about your life what would it be?

God is the best of planners, I’ll leave it up to him.

Do you think all athletes have an obligation to give back?

No.

Do you consider yourself a role model?

No; an example.

What will be your legacy?

Most unappreciated champion that stepped into the ring.

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Outside the Ring: 2Nations1Dream
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Outside the Ring: Larry Holmes

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  1. bikermike 10:22pm, 02/20/2017

    are we talking Saint Hood ........or good fighters ??

  2. bikermike 10:13pm, 02/20/2017

    ...Holmes was in the right place at the right time ...because he was an active HW fighter, who was dedicated to his craft.  He out fought Ken Norton for the Title….it’s on you tube…..check it out

    Larry Holmes is a top ten Heavy Weight Champion ..!!!

  3. bikermike 10:03pm, 02/20/2017

    I have always loved to read Irish Frankie….even when I disagree.  He has so much more knowledge than the most of us….....and his biting wit is welcome

  4. bikermike 09:56pm, 02/20/2017

    Holmes….to this day…feels the pain that he is not given his due….......at least by some

  5. bikermike 09:48pm, 02/20/2017

    ....Glad someone mentioned Renaldo Snipes….who knocked down Larry Holmes….Holmes recovered and was on the way to putting permanent brain damage on Snipes , when it was called off.  Holmes overcame a younger..talented young Lion…and ‘LEARNED HIM GOOD’....

  6. bikermike 09:24pm, 02/20/2017

    Some wish to bring clouds upon Ken Norton ...and I must disagree.

    Ken Norton beat Ali at least once..OFFICIALLY….of their three matches…and many think Norton won two….if not all three of their epic fights.

    Norton was no cream puff in that time !!

  7. bikermike 09:07pm, 02/20/2017

    BTW…..at the time of the Holmes Cooney match….I wasn’t flush at the time…....but had just sold my motorbike…..

    Cupla loudmouths were saying how sure they were about Cooney…..I put up cupla hundred bucks,,,and they took it….even odds.

    Went home with my wife….and had dinner at a lovely restaurant..on the way home…....She didn’t divorce me for another ten years or more !!

  8. bikermike 09:01pm, 02/20/2017

    Moon Man….I could only get a seat in a theater to watch Holmes vs Cooney…LIVE.

    Holmes took Cooney apart like he was a clock…...despite the low blows!!

    Cooney was saved by his corner….he was done !!

    Best effort of Cooney’s career,,,but Holmes came ....ready ..tight and trim..and way out of Cooney’s league , that night.

    Also…many a slight had been dealt to Holmes in that match up…including introducing Cooney ..last…not to dwell on the promotion .

    Holmes is an unappreciated Champion…......by some

  9. bikermike 08:43pm, 02/20/2017

    You can only fight the guys in front of you….Greg Page was a fantastic prospect…but before he got his shot….he began to believe the promoters…and forgot about the tools of the trade…..Training…eating well…no bad stuff…and Greg Page started to coast…....

    Larry Holmes had taken the trade seriously.and suffered long and hard for his stature.  He waited and got his shot…..Page didn’t wait…‘nuff said!

  10. bikermike 08:18pm, 02/20/2017

    non_prophet…...

    after pulling at least four brain muscles getting through your verbal gymnastics…

    ..I offer this..on your opinion of Robert Blake and O.J. Simpson,,being guilty of charges brought against them…...though the Justice System found them both NOT GUILTY.

    That is your opinion….and you are entitled to it.

  11. bikermike 08:05pm, 02/20/2017

    Holmes was a pro fighter….without the sponsorship or promotion of ...say OLYMPIC Medal winners….
    He started at the bottom….broke his right hand in a match….early ...
    As he had nothing else on his mind….he continued to train ...broken right hand and all!!...

    For months and months ....while his right hand healed…he worked only with his left hand…..THUS..the rapier left jab…and educated Left of Larry Holmes…....and a snapshot of his dedication to becoming the Champion he was !!

  12. bikermike 07:59pm, 02/20/2017

    Moon MAN….I agree with you that Evander Holyfield should also be on the top ten….and I’m amazed more folks don’t appreciate his efforts

  13. bikermike 07:57pm, 02/20/2017

    Moon MAN…....good list…but Holmes before the Kiltschko brothers

  14. bikermike 07:54pm, 02/20/2017

    Larry ‘Big Cat’  Holmes was the best Heavyweight of his time…when Heavyweight’s still were what Fight Fans wanted to see.

    He had a spectacular left hand…jab…cross…hook or over the top ...Great balance…and a destructive and accurate right !

    He was able to go fifteen rounds with the best on the planet…and that’s how he won the Title….fifteen round decision over Ken Norton…...(contender for the best HW Title fight of modern time!!..check it out)

    Had to come up in the shadow of the former HW Champion….and that made it tough for the guy.

    Glad to see he has done so well after his brilliant ring career was over

  15. Carlos Torres 07:56pm, 02/13/2017

    In his prime Larry Holmes could of beaten the majority of the great heavy weights. A very under estimated fighter. His jab along was lethal.

  16. Moon Man 07:08am, 02/07/2017

    Holyfield comes in at 13 and guess who is number 14?

  17. Moon Man 07:04am, 02/07/2017

    Moon Man’s Top Twelve All Time Heavyweight Champions
    1. Muhammad Ali
    2. Joe Louis
    3. George Foreman ( talk about “underappreciated”)
    4. Sonny Liston
    5. Mike Tyson ( we are talking PRIME Mike Tyson)
    6. Wlad Klitschko
    7. Vitali Klitschko
    8. Lennox Lewis
    9. Rocky Marciano
    10. Jack Dempsey
    11. Joe Frazier
    12. Gene Tunney

  18. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:09am, 02/07/2017

    @Kid-Maybe just “governed” for my own good.

  19. Kid 05:42pm, 02/06/2017

    Irish, are you being blocked?

  20. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 04:03pm, 02/06/2017

    Again?! I give up! There must be a red flag anytime I post more than a paragraph!

  21. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 03:25pm, 02/06/2017

    I tried twice now…why can’t I get through? Is it because non_prophet posted that I was the “resident racist troll”? I’ll apologize to the grievance ridden, hate filled cretin if it will make anyone happy.

  22. Moon Man 01:32pm, 02/06/2017

    Holmes DUCKED Pinklon Thomas & Greg Page and NEVER gave Witherspoon a much deserved rematch. haha. Seriously, were you alive back then, or are you just playing it by ear? You are a waste of my time. Buh-Bye.

  23. non_prophet 01:24pm, 02/06/2017

    Moon Man, 
    The word “underappreciated” is a figment of your imagination.  Didn’t get that from me.  Re-read my post. 

    I quoted you correctly though, through my use of the term “overrated” which is the absolutely worst and most ignorant characterization one could come up with in talking about the great Larry Holmes. 

    Now that we’ve got that out of the way, this:

    Every name you listed as Holmes opponents were legitimate fighters.  Holmes ducked nobody during an era of GREAT HEAVYWEIGHTS.

    Don’t let Holmes’ complexion get in the way.  Bow down and give him his due. 

    Having worked my way through your comments for months now, it is clear that like your “soulmate” Irish Frankie, your opinions are completely race-based.

    As such, they carry even LESS weight than any opinions you may have which are devoid of racial aspects. 

    Of course, rather than have Holmes “feast” on “re-treads” early in his career, you’d run him up against the top of the division right out of the box, wouldn’t you? 

    Also, it comes as no surprise that out of your race-based cranium would come the thought of Gerry Cooney—of all people—as Holmes’ greatest challenge. 

    The only thing accurate about that sentence was the spelling of Cooney’s first name.

    Rocked by Snipes?  Guess that pretty much seals the deal in your mind that Holmes sucked as a fighter, right?  Because certainly, no fighter in the history of the sport has ever been rocked by another fighter, right?

    Oh yeah, by the way, in case you turned off the tube after he was “rocked,” Holmes knocked Snipes the fuck out.

    Finally, I’m sure that, considering the basis for greatness that you employ in determining who is and is not a great fighter—a complexion connection—you probably consider Tyson Fury the greatest professional heavyweight fighter since…Rocky Balboa?

    On that point, even someone whose world view is as ill-informed as yours could probably figure out where I’m coming from.

  24. non_prophet 12:56pm, 02/06/2017

    Moon Man. 

    Perhaps you should be called “loon man.”

    It is ignorance of the type you’ve spouted in your comment regarding Nat Turner which explains why you’ve been an irrelevant and completely trivial part of the human race for the entirety of your existence on this planet. 

    The best evidence of this is fact that what functions as your “brain” could concoct and then apply a higher degree of outrage to the death of one white woman by the hand of one black man to any outrage you might have about the institution of slavery; the destruction of which was the focus of the beautiful and justly violent resistance to slavery led by the great Nat Turner. 

    Perhaps you are of the same ilk as those lazy slobs who could never have created a nation as great as America HAD become (prior to trump) without enslaving others to do that job for you.

    The supremacist attitude and drunken sense of entitlement that characterizes your flawed perspective is so very evident in your silly and ill-informed expression of disdain over a white woman’s death at the hands of a famous black sports figure and actor—OJ Simpson – as you conveniently ignore the relevancy of that event to the death of a white woman by a white actor under similar circumstances—Robert Blake. 
    Both got away with murder. 

    Only one acquittal concerns you.

    Even someone as stupid as you could figure out why.

  25. Moon Man 12:38pm, 02/06/2017

    @non_prophet… I explained WHY I feel that Larry Holmes is overrated. Maybe, you can enlighten me as to why I should believe he is “underappreciated” or underrated. I can recall the Larry Holmes era well, I’m speaking of his first career here. Holmes was denounced in many boxing mags by the boxing scribes of the day. Holmes feasted on retreads like Alfredo Evangelista and Ossie Ocasio in his early title defences, later Larry would fight stalwart contenders with names like Lorenzo Zanon, the real life “Glass Joe,” Leroy Jones, the guy who looked like he might have had one too many trips to the buffet line, and who can forget the great talents like, Scott Frank or Lucien Rodriguez. In between, Holmes defeated limited guys like Scott LeDoux, the aged, slow and one dimensional, Earnie Shavers, undersized Marvis Frazier & Leon Spinks. The biggest win of Larry Holmes’ first career came against Gerry Cooney. Cooney hadn’t had a fight in over a year, wasn’t that battle tested, and was totally psyched out by the magnitude of the event. Holmes was rocked by glorified clubfighter, Renaldo Snipes, and was nearly lost his title to a guy who not only lost to Duane Bobick, but Rodney Bobick as well. Speaking of Duane Bobick, Bobick kicked Holmes’ ass good in the amateurs. Holmes doesn’t deserve to be mentioned alongside the names of Frazier, Ali, or Foreman, but then again, neither does Norton.

  26. non_prophet 11:15am, 02/06/2017

    Only on this forum will you find boxing “fans” who are stupid enough to consider Larry Holmes to be overrated like Moonman believes.  Or, where you will find someone ignorant enough to consider “Butterbean” anything more than a circus act as is the case with resident racist troll Irish Frankie.

  27. Moon Man 06:44am, 02/05/2017

    I idolized Jack Lambert, John Riggins, Mike Curtis (Baltimore Colt, hehe), Larry Csonka, and Dick Butkus while growing up. IF I were to find out that any one of these guys slapped and beat their girlfriends or wifes around or murdered two innocent people, I wouldn’t EVER bring up their names in an interview. I take that back, I might bring up their names and tell how much I despised them for their actions, after having put them on a pedestal as a naive sports fan, and denounced myself for being foolish enuff to idolize some guy because he could play football.

  28. Moon Man 06:26am, 02/05/2017

    BTW, I see the director, of the Nat Turner film, “Birth Of A Nation, was accused of rape in 1999.

  29. Moon Man 06:25am, 02/05/2017

    Because any man with an ounce of decency doesn’t glorify a woman beater and a double murderer, especially a 6-foot, 200lb man who nearly beheads a defenseless woman. I saw a documentary on Nat Turner the other night and not that I’m shocked by any means, but Hollywood, was making Turner an almost saintly figure. Some downright pathetic figure even compared him to the Founding Fathers as a freedom fighter and looked to have a statue made of Turner. Don’t keep up with Hollywood or the trash they put out, but I see by watching the documentary, there was a film about Turner last year. Some of Turner’s victims were women and little children. I seriously doubt the Founding Fathers went around slaughtering women and children with an ax or sword. Pete Rose wasn’t allowed in the baseball HOF because of gambling on baseball. And it doesn’t look like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, or Roger Clemons will be admitted to baseball HOF either because of steroids, despite their HOF statistics. However, Carlos Monzon & OJ can slap women around and murder them and still be “idolized” in their respective sport’s HOFs. Hell, if I had my way, Jake LaMotta and his woman beating self, would also be removed from boxing’s HOF.

  30. Jan Swart 09:44pm, 02/04/2017

    But if the athletic, pre throat-slitting OJ really inspired him, as he probably did, what’s wrong with Holmes saying so? It’s the truth, and he’s being honest. You don’t see the Brits knocking down the hospital that Jimmy Savile singe-handedly funded, only because he was later found out to be a child rapist. IMHO the only foot LH ever put wrong was when he said Rocky Marciano was not fit to carry his jock strap, which bit him deep in the ass when he lost to Spinks not long after. LH is definitely in the top 20, maybe top 15, of all-time heavyweight champions.

  31. Moon Man 08:15pm, 02/04/2017

    Oops. Forgot. Holmes nearly was knocked out by Renaldo Snipes as well.

  32. Moon Man 07:45pm, 02/04/2017

    “Most underappreciated champion that stepped into the ring.” Talk about delusional. Holmes was champion in one of the worst eras in heavyweight history. He beat two “name” fighters before winning a controversial decision from Norton for the title. That is if you want to call trial horse, Roy Williams, a name fighter. Norton was a bit past it by the time he fought Holmes and was probably 2-3 years older than his given age, still I think Norton pulled out that fight. My gawd, have you taken a look at the names of the challengers that Holmes beat while holding the title? Holmes should have gotten an L in the Witherspoon match, and had close calls against Shavers, Weaver, and Carl “The Truth” Williams. He avoided Pinklon Thomas & Greg Page, and never gave Witherspoon a rematch. This guy is barely top 10 and possibly even in the 11 or 12 slot. How people rate this guy in the top 5-6 of all time heavies is a mystery to me.

  33. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 04:37pm, 02/04/2017

    He couldn’t get Butterbean out of there and you can bet your ass he was trying. Yes, that fight counts and yes it is part of his legacy. The only reason anyone would say that OJ inspired him is…. spit in your face hatred. There is nothing amusing about anyone who would utter such filth. He’s one in the same with the jury nullifying rats in that trial.

  34. Thresher 03:52pm, 02/04/2017

    Left at the right time and has taken great care of himself financially. Great stuff Jill.

  35. Moon Man 01:55pm, 02/04/2017

    OJ?  “Not being recognized what I did.” There in lies the problem with Larry Holmes. The guy has and has always had a huge chip on his shoulder. If anything, Holmes is consistently overrated.

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