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Thread: The Heart Of A Champion - Larry Holmes

  1. #1
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    The Heart Of A Champion - Larry Holmes

    If you've ever been in a fight, inside or outside the ring, then you will have found that the loser isn't necessarily the smaller, weaker, or slower guy. It is the first to give up who loses.

    In training, a fighter hammers their will to make it unbreakable. They push themselves to extremities that others may perish at and persevere through suffering that would buckle the step most. A fighter understands that through swallowing their pains they will become stronger, and by besting their fears they will keep themselves in the race to victory.

    I admire greatly all those who possess the heart of a champion, that unique will and belief in self that forces a fighter to fight through any adversity and never accept defeat. This special term has been cheapened by its over use by promotes, eager to appeal to fans, with many fighters being bestowed with the accolade who may not possess it it's true meaning.

    One fighter who proved himself worthy and exemplifies the heart of a champion like no other is Larry Holmes. Holmes throughout his stunning and standout career showed on numerous occasions that he would fight through whatever was in his way, he would rise from the canvas no matter what his body told him and always possessed a steely resolve never to be beaten.

    In one special round, Holmes inspired millions with his undeniable heart. In the ninth round of the defence of his WBC Heavyweight title against the young undefeated Philadelphian Tim Witherspoon, Larry Holmes defied the belief of all those watching and astonished the world with his unbreakable will.

    Holmes was under pressure from the Philly fighter from the start of the round, taking heavy shot after heavy shot to head and body but still he stood tall fighting back for his life. Nothing would put him down that night, every shot that pummeled his head would have made anyone else collapse, but Holmes stood defiant through the barrage of punches and fought back with the ferocity of a famished tiger.

    I hope you enjoying reliving one of the most defining moments in boxing history, where a champion, truly deserving of the name battled himself and his fears to defend his title and be victorious.


    Last edited by Skibbz; 06-03-2014 at 10:01 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: The Heart Of A Champion - Larry Holmes

    I have garnered a unbelievable appreciation for Larry Holmes. He is easily one of the most underrated fighters of all time. He is one of those guys whose greatness was ill timed in that if he had not have pummeled a way past the sell date Ali, and not been right after a golden age of heavyweights, how talented fighter he was would have been more easily realized by the public.

    Holmes had one of the few jabs out there that was thrown for power, not just as a setup or a timing mechanism. I would argue that Holmes had a top 5 jab ever in boxing.

    In that video, Witherspoon hit him with some clean shots and you could tell that all Larry had left was guts. He was literally using his forearm on Witherspoon's shoulder to hold himself up. It also seemed that at about the :35 mark of the round he found just a little something extra that got him through the round. Great Video.

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    Re: The Heart Of A Champion - Larry Holmes

    I was ringside for this fight as Editor-in-Chief of The Ring. Chuck Minker was one of the judges of the fight. He was one of my two closest friends. A few years later, he would become Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

    I had gone to Vegas with my wife, asrriving two days before the fight. We stayed at Minker's house. Naturally, the talk centered around boxing.

    Minker was excited about having been chosen to be one of the three judges, and felt it would be a tough, gruelling, down-in-the-trenches fight. He was right. Oh was he right!

    What a fight it was. Watch the video put up by Skibbz (whom I thank greatly for doing so!). Oh, what memories.

    As I recall, Minker had it scored a nail-biting 115-113 for Holmes, while judge Chuck Hassett had it much wider for the champion (which I still think was out of line). Judge Herb Santos made it a split decision by scoring the fight for Witherspoon. The crowd agreed with Santos, and roundly booed Minker and Hassett's scorecards.

    My card had it the same way as Minker: 115-113 for Holmes.

    I can watch this fight over and over and enjoy it every time. Each time, I score it for Holmes. Either way, it was a great performance by both men. They were two proud warriors, giving it their all.

    In my mind, it remains as one of the greatest heavyweight title bouts in history.

    -Randy G.

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    Re: The Heart Of A Champion - Larry Holmes

    Thank for posting this Skibbz. That was truly a great round and showed tremendous heart, courage and determination of Larry Holmes.

    It seems as time has gone on, Holmes has become more and more appreciated. He was a little before my time so I can only read about how the general public thought about him as champion during his reign post-Ali. But as I have watched tape and youtube videos myself, think he is much better than what he was actually given credit during his reign.

    One thing is for certain, he had one massive heart and will to win. This round against Witherspoon, the 15th round against Norton, etc just a couple examples. That does not get talked about enough and it really should.

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    Re: The Heart Of A Champion - Larry Holmes

    Quote Originally Posted by The Good Doctor View Post
    I have garnered a unbelievable appreciation for Larry Holmes. He is easily one of the most underrated fighters of all time. He is one of those guys whose greatness was ill timed in that if he had not have pummeled a way past the sell date Ali, and not been right after a golden age of heavyweights, how talented fighter he was would have been more easily realized by the public.

    Holmes had one of the few jabs out there that was thrown for power, not just as a setup or a timing mechanism. I would argue that Holmes had a top 5 jab ever in boxing.

    In that video, Witherspoon hit him with some clean shots and you could tell that all Larry had left was guts. He was literally using his forearm on Witherspoon's shoulder to hold himself up. It also seemed that at about the :35 mark of the round he found just a little something extra that got him through the round. Great Video.
    Throughout the round there are times when he just finds something and throws it Witherspoon, then he throws a string punches all with serous intent behind them. He was ready for whatever was coming that night and boy did he display it.

    I completely agree with the Commissioner, it's one of my favourite heavyweight bouts of all time. It must have been incredible to witness that in person not far from the action. I had it 115-113 too, the other judges were blind... They ought to check a guys eyes before they let him judge a title fight to make sure he doesn't see back to front..

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    Re: The Heart Of A Champion - Larry Holmes

    I don't think I have seen that round since it originally aired!
    Larry Holmes was one of my first favorite fighters, he always came fighting back.
    I'll never forget him being dropped HARD by Reynaldo Snipes early in the 7th round I want to say. Amazing survivor. Not many fighters would have made it out of that round vs Snipes or Witherspoon. I KNOW not many fighters would have jumped off a car and dropkicked Trevor Berbick on Tuesday Night Fights. Larry was one of a kind, he just came along at a bad time historically after Ali.

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    Re: The Heart Of A Champion - Larry Holmes

    Larry Holmes was a tremendously underrated champion. Skill wise, he learned from one of the best in Ali.

    He was so cagey, wily and smart that he could beat guys as a fat, pudgy, ugly 40+ year old while standing in his corner.

    This is how he whooped Ray Mercer and arguably beat Evander Holyfield, who I had him beating rather handily (8-3-1, I think I had it) and I'll watch that fight back with anyone and state my case.

    Larry Holmes is proof that even though you got skill, you need that intangible extra -- will, heart, drive, determination, whatever -- to keep you fighting when the going gets tough.

    Many technical fighters don't get recognized for this. But he had it. In spades.

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    Re: The Heart Of A Champion - Larry Holmes

    Quote Originally Posted by the Roast View Post
    I don't think I have seen that round since it originally aired!
    Larry Holmes was one of my first favorite fighters, he always came fighting back.
    I'll never forget him being dropped HARD by Reynaldo Snipes early in the 7th round I want to say. Amazing survivor. Not many fighters would have made it out of that round vs Snipes or Witherspoon. I KNOW not many fighters would have jumped off a car and dropkicked Trevor Berbick on Tuesday Night Fights. Larry was one of a kind, he just came along at a bad time historically after Ali.
    I'm glad you enjoyed it Roast. His ability to mount a fight back was incredible no matter what the situation was. You could never count him out because he always got up and brought more back to the table. Only Tyson got the better of him, but that's another story for another day. What an era that was!

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