Former world champion Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes 69-6 (44) is about to do a one man show Friday at Harrah’s Casino in Chester, PA. During an interview he took a shot at current WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world champion Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko, 64-3 (53). He proclaimed “He ain’t talented; he’s just a big guy with some power.” Then Holmes added, “I think the big guy from South Carolina (WBC champion Deontay Wilder, from Alabama) has the size and a decent jab. If he develops it more, I think he can beat him. If he uses his jab and really learns how to step side to side he can beat him.”
Considering Holmes has never given his 2-time conqueror Michael Spinks any credit for stopping his winning streak at 48 it should be no surprise he is degrading the current champion. He defeated Ken Norton by split decision for the WBC title in his 28th fight. Why there was never a rematch is in question. Norton was 40-4 at the time.
In Holmes 43rd fight he won a split decision over “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, 15-0, who many feel was a disputed win for Holmes. Again, no rematch. Holmes had a non-title bout defeating Marvis Frazier, 10-0, who was not ranked at the time in his 45th fight. He had 16 title defenses of the WBC title. He then defeated James “Bonecrusher” Smith, 14-1 in an IBF title (having been awarded the title previously) that was newly formed in his 46th fight. In his 47th fight he defeated David Bey, 14-0 and in his 48th fight won another controversial fight defeating Carl “The Truth” Williams, 16-0.
In Holmes 49th fight he lost by a narrow decision to Light Heavyweight champion Michael Spinks, 27-0, who became the first champ at that weight to win the heavyweight title. In the rematch Holmes lost again but by a controversial decision in his 50th fight. He followed this with his third straight defeat and the only by stoppage when he was crushed by “Iron” Mike Tyson, 32-0 in 4 rounds for the WBC, WBA and IBF titles. Additional losses to Evander Holyfield, 27-0, Oliver McCall, 25-5, and Brian Nielsen, 31-0, were the other defeats. Holmes final bout was against who many called the “4 round champ” Eric “Butterbean” Esch, 65-2-3, who only had 1 bout at 5 rounds and Holmes insisted on a 10 round bout. He got dropped in the 10th and final round by Esch and went into retirement afterwards. Holmes had 16 WBC title defenses and 3 IBF defenses if you include his win over Smith after being “given” the IBF title for 19 defenses in all.
In comparing Holmes to Klitschko who won the WBO title defeating Chris Byrd in his 36th fight with only a loss to Ross Purity. He defended the WBO title 5 times before being stopped by Corrie Sanders, 38-2. In an attempt to regain the title he lost to Lamont Brewster in a vacant title fight. He defeated Byrd again for the IBF and IBO titles this time by stoppage. He would reverse his loss to Brewster by stoppage and regained the WBO title defeating Sultan Ibragimov.
In all Klitschko defended the IBF title 17 times, the WBO 18 times, the WBA 7 times for a total of 23 defenses. He is 2 short of equaling former world champion Joe Louis’ 25 defenses. Louis held the title for 12 years while Klitschko has held it for 9 years and Holmes 7 years. Klitschko is scheduled on October 24th to defend against Tyson Fury, 24-0, in Germany. He has won his last 22 fights. Holmes record was 69-6 (44) with 19 defenses compared to Klitschko 64-3 (53) with 23 defenses and a defense scheduled in October. So why should Holmes bad mouth Klitschko? Could it be jealousy on his part?
Please send all questions and comments to Ken Hissner at: Kenhissner@gmail.com
Ken Hissner responds to all his emails at: firstname.lastname@example.org