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Thread: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

  1. #61
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Quote Originally Posted by HC05
    I don't get why this fight is a source of controversy. IMO Ali won 5 rounds tops and I rank the decision as one of the worst ever given the magnitude of the fight.
    The question answers itself. For every pundit like you and HE Grant who think the fight should have gone to Norton, there is another one who thinks Ali deserved the nod. I haven't heard too many folks who reckon it to have been a 10-5 or 11-4 wax-job, though, but everyone is entitled to his own opinion. IMO, it was a close fight either way, though I admit it's been a looooong time since I watched it all the way through.

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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    re: Ali Norton III

    I have to go with Mr. E on this........all 3 fights were close and actually almost every round was close...and III was a very hard fight to score.

    Had Norton geared up for the last few rounds, knowing the title was on the line, knowing judges' tendencies to give Ali big credit for flurries, and also knowing that its best to take the belt by minimizing the things that a champ does best, he would have won the fight. The truth was, while Kenny Norton was a good fighter, I personally don't think he was a particularly smart fighter. He fought Ali 22 rounds before the third fight, and didn't come up with one thing different for the rubber match....he couldn't land the punch or punches that would take the fight out of Ali, he couldn't really hurt him and jump him with a big series of accurate damaging shots and he couldn't take his legs from him.

    10-5 or 11-4? Not a chance...the next time its discussed Kenny will have thrown a shut out at this rate.

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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    It is the worst decision I have ever seen in a heavyweight title bout by far. Ali had nothing, threw feather like punches, clowned and absorbed a beating. Norton dominated the pace, was far stronger, landed the far harder punches consistently through out the fight. It was a terrible, unfair and unjust decision.

    The newspaper decisions were overwhelmingly for Norton. Very few then or today claim Ali won that fight.

  4. #64
    Cojimar 1945
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    With regards to a comparison between Ali and Holmes at respective stages in their career, at age 38 Ali was badly beaten by Holmes. Should the fact that Ali was so soundly beaten by Holmes at that age tarnish his legacy? I woulden't think so.

  5. #65
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    With regards to Ali in the 1970s his accomplishments are extremely impressive. He beat Bonavena, Frazier, Norton, Lyle, Foreman, etc. Holmes victories post Tyson are nothing compared to this and any comparison is frankly rediculous.

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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    I said they both had some "nice victories" following their initial retirements, not that these victories were comparable.
    Also, the Ali who lost to Holmes was much further gone than the Holmes who was creamed by a smaller Tyson. Look at when each guy turned pro. It's not a concrete rule of physics or anything, but generally the younger you begin fighting pro, the sooner you're shot. Benitez won a title at 17 and was a near basketcase by 25, for instance. PeteLeo.

  7. #67
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Comparing a 29 year old Ali with a 38 year Holmes makes no sense. The fact that Holmes turned professional later than Ali does not change the fact that this is a very bad comparison. Most would argue that Holmes was in his prime in his late 20s to early 30s. Ali was still beating the worlds best heavyweights at this age.

  8. #68
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Additionally, I would like to point out that Louis's loss to Marciano certainly counts as an ignomious defeat.

  9. #69
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Louis loss to Marciano was terrible as was Holmes to Tyson. Both lost to men they would have beaten in their primes.

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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Kind of a prickly pear, aren't you?
    Okay, substitute the Ali in the Shavers fight, if that makes you feel better. Even after he was lit up by that bomb in the second round, he held together, fought a hellish fifteen rounds, and won. The fistically younger Holmes, on the other hand, fell apart once Tyson connected with his right. To me, that's a difference in the two guys.

    As for Louis-Marciano, Joe was much further down the trail as a fighter when Rocky got him than Holmes was with Tyson. Look at how they reacted following the KO losses: Larry had a number of decent and occasionally inspiring fights (such as against Mercer and his very close efforts with Holyfield and McCall), while Louis retired. And Joe still went twice as many rounds with Rocky as Larry did with Mike.

    All in all, this lack of a really devastating stoppage late in his career is but one factor in the Ali over Holmes matter, perhaps even a minor one, so it's up to the individual to decide how much weight this factor deserves in the final summation. PeteLeo.
    Last edited by PeteLeo; 06-24-2006 at 04:46 PM.

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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteLeo
    Kind of a prickly pear, aren't you?
    Okay, substitute the Ali in the Shavers fight, if that makes you feel better. Even after he was lit up by that bomb in the second round, he held together, fought a hellish fifteen rounds, and won. The fistically younger Holmes, on the other hand, fell apart once Tyson connected with his right. To me, that's a difference in the two guys.

    As for Louis-Marciano, Joe was much further down the trail as a fighter when Rocky got him than Holmes was with Tyson. Look at how they reacted following the KO losses: Larry had a number of decent and occasionally inspiring fights (such as against Mercer and his very close efforts with Holyfield and McCall), while Louis retired. And Joe still went twice as many rounds with Rocky as Larry did with Mike.

    All in all, this lack of a really devastating stoppage late in his career is but one factor in the Ali over Holmes matter, perhaps even a minor one, so it's up to the individual to decide how much weight this factor deserves in the final summation. PeteLeo.
    I have to agree that Ali's chin was a tad better than Holmes... he probably had the best chin of any heavyweight champion imo... not that Holmes had anything less than an excellent chin himself... also one should remember that Holmes allowed Don King to talk him into a match with Tyson after 3 years out spent 'drinking beer' (Larrys words) with just six weeks notice... I think even Ali given the same circumstances would have found it hard to last the distance with Tyson that night... and Tyson despite his flaws was a great puncher who predictably thrived when faced with an aging great who'd had just 6 weeks training in over 3 years!...

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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    If Holmes agreed to fight Tyson after a 3 yr break with 6 weeks training .
    Then he can't be the Greatest . I'm not even a boxer and I know when fighting a guy with Tyson's power , if you want to win you better be prepared

    A great fighter should know that.

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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Quote Originally Posted by iskigoe
    If Holmes agreed to fight Tyson after a 3 yr break with 6 weeks training .
    Then he can't be the Greatest . I'm not even a boxer and I know when fighting a guy with Tyson's power , if you want to win you better be prepared

    A great fighter should know that.
    I don't see how it affects his greatness... most of the all time greats have gone on far too long, the fact that Holmes came back again and gave the likes of Holifield and Mccall tough fights in his 40s plus beating Mercer shows I think that he could have done better against Tyson had he been prepared properly and had some fights before... but at the end of the day Holmes found he couldnt turn down the money that he was offered for fighting Tyson... this is a man who was brought up in poverty and always worried about ending up that way again so I think you can cut him some slack... certainly Ali's losses against Holmes and Berbick do not take away from his greatness so neither should we hold Holmes loss to Tyson against him... while his losses to Holifield and Mccall actually add to his legacy, showing Larry to be one of the cleverist and most enduring of the heavyweight champions....

  14. #74
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Whether Holmes could have done better against Tyson with more training and preparation is a moot point, and not only because the two never rematched. It's moot because Holmes stated unequivocally on television that he would fight anyone in the world following the Mercer win . . . except for Mike Tyson, whom he would never meet again in the ring. Apparently Larry didn't feel that he was going to improve over their first/only fight no matter how much time he had to get ready.

    Of course, as I said before, this is only one facet in comparing Holmes to Ali and the other great champs, and it may even be more of a cosmetic aspect than an actual gauge of relative greatness. PeteLeo.

  15. #75
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Don't you guys get it yet? Holmes did it for the money, as usual. He'd step into the ring tomorrow against Sam Peters for a million dollars. Larry, more than many, is a bit nuts when it comes to the dollar.

    He went into the ring after being inactive for 18 months on six weeks notice against an absolutely prime Tyson. He knew walking to the ring he was in trouble. He did not feel right. However, he went in , fought bravely, got knocked down several times and kept getting up. He did not quit. He was fine immediately after the fight as the HBO interview with Ray Leonard proves. To judge him on that fight is absurd. If the Ali that fought Berbick or Holmes went into the ring with that Tyson he would not have made it out of the first round.

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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Don't bet on it. PeteLeo.

  17. #77
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Joe Louis was whipping good heavyweights immediately prior to the Marciano loss. Holmes was not.

  18. #78
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    In any case I would expect a peak Tyson to easily defeat a shot version of Ali. I can't be sure how long it would take but I don't see Ali having much chance in this matchup if he was well past his best.

  19. #79
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    If your going to criticize Holmes durability why not also bash him for getting stopped in the amateurs? I am interested in the durability of fighters in their primes but if you really want to analyze everything than the ko losses Holmes had in the amateurs might be equally relevant.

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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteLeo
    Whether Holmes could have done better against Tyson with more training and preparation is a moot point, and not only because the two never rematched. It's moot because Holmes stated unequivocally on television that he would fight anyone in the world following the Mercer win . . . except for Mike Tyson, whom he would never meet again in the ring. Apparently Larry didn't feel that he was going to improve over their first/only fight no matter how much time he had to get ready.

    Of course, as I said before, this is only one facet in comparing Holmes to Ali and the other great champs, and it may even be more of a cosmetic aspect than an actual gauge of relative greatness. PeteLeo.
    Its not a moot point at all because the Tyson fight is not a true reflection of the fighter that Holmes was... he was coming back after over 2 years out and with just 6 weeks training... even Ali had about 3 months to train for his fight with Holmes...

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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Holmes said he wouldn't rematch with Tyson (even though I can't imagine that such a fight would have had any drawing power, anyway). This would include suitable training and preparation time, certainly. Sounds to me like Larry just didn't think he could whip Mike at that point in his life. PeteLeo.

  22. #82
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cojimar 1945
    In any case I would expect a peak Tyson to easily defeat a shot version of Ali. I can't be sure how long it would take but I don't see Ali having much chance in this matchup if he was well past his best.
    How far past his best was Holmes? Correct me if I'm wrong (someone always does), but wasn't Larry's most recent bout a neck and neck decision which he should have won with Michael Spinks for the title? It's not like he was on life support. To me, taking into consideration how well he did after the Tyson match, Holmes was about the same as Ali coming back against Frazier -- in which case I doubt there's a chance in hell Tyson would "easily" defeat Muhammad, if he defeated him at all (no certainty there) -- or, if that's too young and fresh an Ali, they may equate better with the Ali who fought Shavers. In my estimation, the right hand that Earnie caught Muhammad with in the second was every bit as powerful and effective as the Tyson right that first introduced Mr. Holmes to the floor. Yet Ali took it. Sure, if you're going to throw a Holmes or Berbick-type of Ali in with a peak Tyson, Muhammad almost certainly gets crushed (though I doubt that it would happen in one round, even then), but the Holmes who fought Mike was nowhere near as washed up as that Ali.

    In any case, as I said again and again, this is simply one small piece of the picture when comparing the men. Both fought some hellacious hitters when past their primes; Holmes crumbled, Ali didn't. If it means nothing to you, good enough. Maybe Tyson was just that much better than Frazier, Foreman, Shavers, and Lyle. PeteLeo.

  23. #83
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    I'm fairly certain your joking PeteLeo, right? You believe that a 29 year old Ali with two comeback fights in six months is the same as a 37 year old Holmes fighting a prime Tyson after 18 months of inactivity? You must be joking.

    Your next comparison of Shavers and Tyson is pretty incomplete as well. Yes the shot Earnie hit Muhammad with was nasty. The difference was that Earnie was limited and lacked the speed and skills to follow up. The 87-88 Tyson was an animal, lighting fast , exceptionally well conditioned and a killer. He was light years more dangerous than Shavers because he was a much better fighter.

    I see a prime Tyson demolishing the 79-80 version of Ali by KO. No question.

    I do agree that Ali had a chin and overall toughness one half level higher than Larry, say an A- for Holmes but an A for Ali......A plus is only for the Chavalos, Mercers, ect...very, very few.

  24. #84
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Michael Spinks did not do enough at heavyweight to even be considered one of the better heavyweights of the era. He was a great light heavyweight but never proved himself to be anything special at heavyweight. Aside from the Holmes win he did nothing of note.

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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Did Spinks beat Holmes for the title or not? Did he win the rematch? How long had it been since Ali was the heavyweight champ?

    Against Tyson, Holmes went down the first time from one clean right hand, no combos, no accumulation of punches, no animal-like ferocity. Essentially, the fight was over after that. Shavers' one right hand that badly hurt Ali in the second was every bit the punch that Tyson hit Holmes with, probably moreso, yet an old, seventy per cent or so shot Ali took it and a number of others for fifteen brutal rounds without turning into a rag doll. I'm not at all convinced that Tyson -- he of little mental strength -- would have beaten that Ali.

    How about this: the shots that Muhammad took from a prime Foreman? You're not going to say that Tyson hit harder than George now, are you? The final tally for late career total destruction remains Holmes one, Ali zero. Kind of difficult to get around that, isn't it? PeteLeo.

  26. #86
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Obviously Holmes would not be expected to win a rematch since he was many years past his prime. This has no relevance whatsoever. Ali never avenged his losses to Berbick and Holmes.

  27. #87
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    By the time Holmes returned to the ring following the Tyson loss he was in his 40s. Most heavyweights are extremely deteriorated by this age.

  28. #88
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    You do have a case for Ali's losses not being as bad as Holmes loss to Tyson but Louis's loss to Marciano is every bit as humiliating as Holmes loss to Tyson and must be held against Louis if you hold the Tyson fight against Holmes.

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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Holmes and Berbick were the last two fights in Ali's career. Larry had plenty of ring time ahead of him after Tyson, twenty-four fights, in fact. A rather poor comparison there, don't you think?
    Ali turned pro at eighteen, Holmes at twenty-four (at which age Muhammad was already world's champ). As much as some wish to deny the fact, this makes a difference in what can be labeled "ring age."
    Holmes' most recent bout prior to the Tyson debacle was a hotly contested, extremely close fifteen rounder for the title. If one wants to wipe away that result by portraying Larry as a used up shell of his former potent self, rolled into the ring on a gurney with feeding tubes attached, that's his preogative, but denial still can't expunge the fact that Holmes was destroyed by a smaller man and Ali never suffered a similar steamroller treatment while facing monsters like Frazier, Foreman, Lyle, Shavers, and Norton in his declining years.
    It's up to each of us to decide whether such career-long toughness makes a difference in our estimations of each champ's ranking. For me it does. PeteLeo.

  30. #90
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Louis-Marciano.

    Marciano was a better fighter than Tyson. PeteLeo.

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