Larry Holmes

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Larry Holmes (born November 3, 1949) is a former professional boxer. He grew up in Easton, Pennsylvania, which gave birth to his boxing nickname, The Easton Assassin.

Holmes, whose left jab is considered one of the greatest weapons in the history of sports,[1] was the WBC Heavyweight Champion from 1978 to 1983, The Ring Heavyweight Champion from 1980 to 1985, and the IBF Heavyweight Champion from 1983 to 1985. He made twenty successful title defenses, second only to Joe Louis' twenty-five.

Holmes won his first forty-eight professional bouts, including victories over Ken Norton, Muhammad Ali, Gerry Cooney, and Tim Witherspoon.[2] He is frequently ranked by many boxing experts as one of the greatest heavyweight fighters of all-time.[3]

Contents

Early life

Holmes was the fourth eldest of twelve children born to John and Flossie Holmes. When the family moved to Easton in 1954, Holmes' father moved to Connecticut, where he worked as a gardener until his death in 1970. He visited his family every three weeks. "He didn't forsake us," said Flossie Holmes. "He just didn't have anything to give." The family survived on welfare.

To help support his family, Holmes dropped out of school when he was in the seventh grade and went to work at a car wash for $1 an hour. He later drove a dump truck and worked in a quarry.[4]

Amateur boxing career

When Holmes was nineteen, he started boxing. In his twenty-second bout, he boxed Duane Bobick in the 1972 Olympic Trials. Holmes was dropped in the first round with a right to the head. He got up and danced out of range, landing several stiff jabs in the process. Bobick mauled Holmes in the second round but couldn't corner him. The referee warned Holmes twice in the second for holding. In the third, Bobick landed several good rights and started to corner Holmes, who continued to hold. Eventually, Holmes was disqualified for excessive holding. [5]

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