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

  1. #121
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Trust me, Pete, you're not alone in that type of frustration....it's become a common occurrence......it stems from either some folks just won't or can't read or follow a posted point, or they intentionally skew or selectively debate someone's offerring so they can maintain their own position....in some cases they don't bother to read the whole post and get stuck on what they perceive to be the "gist"..............and then we're off to the races gleefully disputing the follow ups. By the time you get to clarify or reiterate what you really meant, the point is lost completely or it just starts another cycle of blather.

    I understood what you said the first time.....if that's any comfort. Tyson dropped Larry like a prom dress, after slapping the "piston like jab of Holmes" out of the way like it was coming from a golden glover. No one did anything like that to Ali, even in his worst showings against Holmes & Berbick. I also understood it to be just a small point when considering the title of "Greatest" to be included in the many other factors at hand.

    Four web pages of posts later, I wish I had just stayed with my first comment:

    Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Absolutely not.

  2. #122
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    Is it being suggested

    That at 38, after 18mos off and with Only 6 weeks of prep time that Holmes had a "piston like jab" against Tyson? It was a jab that's for sure. But was it a PRIME Holmes' jab? Of course not.

    And no one did to Ali what Tyson did to Holmes? "Not even Berbick or Holmes". True. But since when did anyone ever state that Berbick OR Holmes could hit like Tyson?

    If it were the Ali of the Holmes or Berbick bouts facing the Tyson of the Holmes fight........does ANYONE think Muhammad fare's any better than Larry did?

    If these are the points that are trying to be clarified, I'm not even sure what the question is.

    Was Holmes "the Greatest"?

    No.

    Does he belng in the discussion?

    Yes.

    Hawk
    Last edited by hawk5ins; 06-28-2006 at 03:46 PM.

  3. #123
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    To clarify..or possibly muddle even further:

    -"piston like jab" was another's description; I was being sarcastic....my bad.

    -"not even Berbick or Holmes"; refers to Ali's diminished state as a fighter, not to Holmes' or Berbick's abilities.

    -"does ANYONE think Muhammad fair's any better than Larry did?"; certainly didn't mean to imply he would have/was not attempting to. But Muhammad fared better in diminished state against Holmes than Holmes did in his diminished state against Tyson, which was the original point Pete made.

    -"If these are the points that are trying to be clarified"- I wasn't trying to clarify anything in the post you are responding to, I mentioned "clarify" in a completely different context.

    -"Does he belng in the discussion?" I never disagreed with that or indicated otherwise, although IMHO it needed to be a long discussion

    Pete made a point (which I agreed with) that what happened to Holmes vs. Tyson never happened to Ali. Its true and its valid, even if it was misunderstood and became a jump off to other discussion in its misunderstood state.

  4. #124
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    I meant to say it didn't need to be a long discussion....

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    Thumper

    I understand what you are saying here, but, Holmes at an advanced age and clearly past his prime with not enough prep time was KO'd by a Puncher in Tyson.

    Ali, at 38, and clearly past his prime, was shutout and stopped (retired in the corner) by a boxer in Holmes. And then decisioned by an awkward fighter in Berbick.

    So YES, Ali never suffered the fate of a 4th round stoppage the way Holmes did, but Ali wasn't facing they type of fighter, that Holmes did, in Tyson.

    Was Holmes a greater fighter than Tyson? Yes yes a thousand times yes. But Holmes doesn't possess the style and punch of a Prime Tyson. Agianst THAT type of fighter, an old slow Holmes OR Ali are going to be in trouble.

    Old Slow Holmes and Ali's will lose as well to Prime versions of themselves and rather badly as well. But not necessarily as early or by devastating KO.

    Tyson Brings that to the table. Holmes or Ali doesn't.

    Hawk

  6. #126
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    Re: Thumper

    Okay, I SWORE I was out of this, but (pretend you hear Silvio Dante imitating Michael Corleone) . . . "Every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in."
    You just can't compare the Ali of the Holmes & Berbick matches to the Holmes of the Tyson fight. Larry was still relatively fresh and good enough to fight right down to the wire in two title bouts after losing to Iron Mike. Ali, who made weight by using illegal and dangerous drug regimens in the Holmes and Berbick matches, was already a walking dead man. He was showing undeniable symptoms of the Parkinson's/punchdrunkenness that has ravaged him since, Ferdie Pacheco had dropped out of his camp, refusing to be associated with a man who wouldn't quit to save his own health, and he (Ali) was far, far older in "boxing years" than Holmes was against Tyson. Chronological age and boxing age aren't necessarily the same. Look at Walcott, Moore, and Foreman.
    To try to say that the Ali of Holmes & Berbick would have been chewed up and shit out by championship Tyson is simply stating the obvious, and it in no way equates what happened to Holmes. I think this is disingenuous at best. To me, Ali of the first Frazier fight was about at the same point as Holmes of the Tyson bout, but if this is too youthful a Muhammad (and I can see how some would think so), then take the Ali of the Foreman or third Frazier wars. That should be fair. Would Tyson have run over that Ali like a Sherman tank? I don't think so. In fact, I think Muhammad just might have hung tough early and come on late to spank Little Mikey's ass.
    But that's my opinion, only that.

    Thumper, have you ever read fellow board member Steve Vance's sci-fi potboiler THE PLANET OF THE GAWFS? It's great fun (his first published novel, written at sixteen), and it has a cool character named "Thumper." He's a near-midget apeman who can beat the bejabbers out of anything on two legs. You should try to find a copy. PeteLeo.

  7. #127
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    Relatively Fresh?

    I disagree. Holmes looked putrid agianst Spinks in the first bout and while I thought he won the second bout with decent room to spare, he DID poop out down the stretch. When He had Micheal flailing all over the ring with the glancing right that he staggered him wiht in the 14th, Holmes HAD nothing with which to follow up with and catch a Spinks who was OUT of it.

    And then he did almost nothing in the 15th as well.

    By comparison, Ali looked Much fresher at the end of 15 agianst Leon in Thier return bout. Feel both Larry and Ali won both return bouts going away, but Holmes looked old and slow down the stretch.

    !8 mos off and only 6 weeks to prep for the bout (Larry was in it for the dough only. He couldn't have bragged enough about the 5 Mil he got to build his own Jail) was not wise if he wanted to give himself a chance to Be competitive with Mike.

    Ali's physical condition was certainly worse off than Larry's was at 38, but he was facing a boxer and not a puncher. That certainly makes a big difference here.

    Let's also point out that there were several times during the Holmes Ali bout where Larry actually let up and went easy on Ali. He didn't carry him, but he certainly didn't go out of his way to punish him either. Holmes adored Ali. This was a No win situation for him. Tyson carried no such sympathies or soft spots for Larry. In fact he was enraged at Holmes when Larry made him wait it out in his dressing room. He was there to take Holmes O-U-T.

    Two completely different sytles and mindsets that 38 year old versions of Ali and Holmes faced.

    And this certainly plays into the outcome of both fights.

    As for the statement that Ali of the first Frazier or even the Foreman or third Frazier bout was the equivilant of Holmes for Tyson? That is simply hilarious. Absurd and sad. But extremely funny none the less.

    Hawk
    Last edited by hawk5ins; 06-28-2006 at 05:06 PM.

  8. #128
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Actually, PeteLeo, I feel like I'm beating the bejabbers out of myself right now.................

    I really was not comparing the state of the Ali of the Holmes/Berbick fights to the state of the Holmes of the Tyson fight, I only used that version of Ali to say "even the Ali of the Holmes/Berbick fights" didn't drop like Larry did against Tyson. To go further, I think an Ali that would be comparable to Holmes state against Tyson would be the Ali that fought Shavers or Norton....and that Ali would likely have beat Tyson imo, and he certainly wouldn't have been taken out as easily as Larry was. I also don't think Holmes should have been fighting again when he fought Tyson and I didn't think Ali should have fought beyond his fight with Foreman.

    Clear as mud I'm sure...........although I think Holmes was a great fighter in many ways, he just wasn't close to Ali.

    No, I havent read that book; I'm currently struggling through the Lincoln book "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearn Goodwin; very interesting but tedious.

    Are you saying I'm a near midget apeman? Silvio may be paying you a visit.

  9. #129
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    I am

    confused as to looking at the Tyson-Holmes bout as evidence of Holmes not being, at his best, as good as Ali at his.

    Was Larry Holmes the greatest? No. Can a case be made? Not really... if all contenders for this claim are weighed with a similar positive shade as Holmes would have to be. Bernard Hopkins faced a similar cadre of opponents as Larry did. Anyone want to claim but for time and era he is the greatest?

    Hopkins however doesn't in my mind top Holmes in the silly p4p rankings based solely on not being flattened by Antonio Tarver of Felix Trinidad.

    Holmes doesn't trump Hopkins because he got by some heavyweight equivalent of a fairly green Roy Jones.

    Larry also isn't excused for getting stomped by Tyson, or going into the bout as he did. Further, no one can convince me that Tyson would not always have been potentially hell for Holmes, though Holmes might indeed be greater against the field. Harry Arroy once said Jimmy Paul would beat him anytime they ever fought, but he wasn't a better fighter..just perfect to beat him. Mike might not be perfect to beat Larry, but for any Douglas to Holmes augmentation, I submit a Weaver to Tyson.. or Spoon to Tyson.. or you get the picture.

    Holmes isn't the greatest. His best version won't shine like the best Ali or Clay. Never mind looking at his worst relative loss...which for me is Spinks 1 by the way. Hell, I don't even think he is the best "fantasy, prime versus prime on a spaceship where everyone is 30 years old" opponent to bother Ali.. jabbing the jabber theory be damned.

    _____
    Incidentally, Tony Tucker is not better than Holmes because he lasted much longer against Lennox Lewis than Larry did against Tyson.

    Conversely, Sammy Mandell getting pole-axed HAS seemed to worked against HIM.
    Last edited by Sharkey; 06-28-2006 at 05:30 PM.

  10. #130
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    .. or you get the picture.
    The only thing at this point any of us can be absolutely certain of is:

    you can't count on anyone getting the picture.............

  11. #131
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    I suspect that the Ali of the Foreman fight was roughly equivalent to the Holmes of 1983.

  12. #132
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    I'd say Holmes at 37 (Tyson fight) was about even with the Louis that lost to Marciano...Ali is too hard to gage since he faded so fast. I personally feel the Ali of the first Spinks fight was better than the Ali of the second...he really had nothing in that second fight ...it was simply Spinks that was so much worse...if I had to guess I'd say the Holmes of Tyson was about the Ali of Shavers or Spinks 1 .. the huge difference was that he was fighting a prime Tyson and had been highly inactive, something that would be a major disadvantage against Tyson's speed.

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    He

    You got me on a technicality on Holmes' age for the Tyson bout.

    Yes he was 37.....but he was less than 2 mos away from his 38th birthday. I rounded up. sub two mos always gets the round up in my book.

    I have no issue with your comparing Holmes of Tyson to Ali of Shavers. And Tyson's speed does set him apart from Shavers even though I give the edge to Earnie in at least ONE handed power.

    And as has stated, the time off and the short prep time for Larry really hurts Larry agianst Tyson, who I agree with Sharks, would ALWAYS be a handful for Larry if not necesarily a victor over him. Ill prepared is going to equate in an ILL outcome for Larry. And it did.

    Hawk

  14. #134
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Holmes was 38 when he fought Tyson not 37. He turned 38 in November of the previous year.

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

    elmer got it good with walcott and cahrles and for those reasons--among others rate them over holmes--just an opinon.holmes will not equal the abilities of these men and to me lose more to others --thanthey.but homes is in top 15 or so

  16. #136
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    and yes the walcott who losed to marciano would have handled holmes any day of the week--thats how good he was; and hlomes was damn good.

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

    you always hear and see marciano, I have to see some charles fights he must have been great everybody gives him top rating

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    Re: Relatively Fresh?

    [

    As for the statement that Ali of the first Frazier or even the Foreman or third Frazier bout was the equivilant of Holmes for Tyson? That is simply hilarious. Absurd and sad. But extremely funny none the less.

    Hawk[/QUOTE]

    Well, anything to keep you entertained, bubula.
    You're right, Holmes had to be carried into the ring against Tyson by two strapping firemen and then rolled out in a wheelbarrow. In fact, he was so completely shot that he shouldn't even have been able to breathe unassisted by that point.
    And his stirring effort even later against Holyfield? Why, that wasn't Larry at all, it was his much younger twin brother who had been placed into cryogenic suspension at birth and thawed specifically to take over his career after he had been corn-cobbed by Iron Mikey. I mean, any man who was so far over the hill that even his taillights couldn't be seen in the fight with Tyson could never have gone on to fight successfully nearly thirty times more and twice come within a hair of regaining the heavyweight title. Right?
    I hope you're still laughing. PeteLeo.

  19. #139
    Cojimar 1945
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Tyson was ko'd by Douglas and Holyfield while close to his prime whereas Holmes was not beaten till he was clearly past his best. The fact that a young Tyson was dominated and knocked out whereas a young Holmes was not makes the arguement for Tyson beating Holmes a bit difficult to support based purely on fights that both men had in their primes. I could see Tyson hypothetically beating a prime Holmes but in the real world nobody ever beat a prime Holmes whereas prime Tyson clearly was beatable.

  20. #140
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Holmes was still good enough to beat some guys post-Tyson but I don't believe the fight with Holyfield was particularly close. Holmes did well to last the distance but I don't believe he came close to winning.

  21. #141
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    If this was directed to me, I've said several times on this thread that I thought a prime Holmes had a heck of a chance to beat a prime Tyson. Ditto a prime Foreman vs. Tyson. I even think an Ali of the Shavers fight had a chance of outlasting Mikey and catching him late. PeteLeo.

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    Cojimer

    "Holmes was 38 when he fought Tyson not 37. He turned 38 in November of the previous year."

    Damn it. Flipping Boxrec did it to me AGIAN. I KNOW Holmes was born in Nov and yet to "check" my math, I relied on Boxrec (I have to do some unpacking here flipping soon!).

    Larry was born on 11-03-49. Boxrec has it as 03-11-49.

    Now of course this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I can't subtract correctly to come up with 38, but I digress.

    As for the other comments made to me, I don't beleive I ever said that Holmes was on his death bed for Tyson. I said he was well past his prime, he was inactive for 18 mos and only had 6 weeks to prep for Tyson. Not a good recipe for facing Tyson in his prime.

    Not a very big Tyson fan at all (in fact those who know me, can appreciate the loathing I have for him.), But for anyone thinking that Holmes or Ali can step in the ring with an absolute Peak prime Tyson, at WELL below their absolute best (Holmes post 83' or Ali post Manilla, though he would need to have at least Quarry and Bonavena under his belt before taking Mike on anytime post Exile and he can't come in out of shape ala Norton I), well I think they are selling Leg-Iron a bit short.

    Hawk

  23. #143
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    In addition to thinking Holmes was more declined vs Tyson than Ali was versus Foreman and Frazier it is interesting to note that Ali was still arguably the best heavyweight in the world when these fights took place whereas Holmes clearly was no longer number 1. In addition to Tyson I would expect guys like Witherspoon, Dokes, Tucker and Ruddock to be havily favored to beat Holmes by 1988.

  24. #144
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    Wow, lose the heavyweight title by a couple of points, get screwed in the rematch, and -- Voila! -- you're barely even in the top ten anymore! How did they get that breathing machine through the ropes and into Larry's corner in the Tyson fight?
    Boxing am one rough and unforgiving activity, no? PeteLeo.

  25. #145
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    The horses are circling the track and coming back to the starting gate, it appears they all agreed to a "do over".................

    While I think Ali would have been well advised to end his career after the Foreman fight, I have to think that even the Ali of the Shavers fight or the Norton III fight would have taken what Tyson of the Holmes fight had to offer and probably beat him.

    In addition to all his other talents, Ali could take a punch, even at that stage of his career, and there just wasn't any quit in the guy.

    I'm not saying Holmes quit against Tyson; I'm not disputing that Larry only had a short while to train for Tyson, I'm only saying that the wear and tear that a fighter absorbs put Holmes of the Tyson fight at a similar state to the Ali of the Shavers or Norton III fight, or at a minimum the Ali of the Spinks fights.

    The qualities that keep Ali at the greatest level included chin and heart in addition to speed, brains, and other abilities. Holmes didn't get tested like Ali did.

  26. #146
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    > Larry was born on 11-03-49. Boxrec has it as 03-11-49.

    Boxrec actually have Larry's date of birth as "1949-11-03".

    When the year is first I think this is understood in every country I know (*) as meaning year-month-day. This avoids the problems of American style (month-day-year) vs European style (day-month-year).

    (*) Except Sweden. Just to be awkward, they generally use year-day-month.

  27. #147
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    I'm not sure if Holmes was rated when he fought Tyson due to inactivity but I would expect that guys like Ruddock, Tucker and Witherspoon would have beaten him by the time he fought Tyson. I think it is significant that Ali was still possibly the best heavyweight in the world when he fought Foreman and Frazier.

  28. #148
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    Gallicrow

    That was been updated over the past couple of days.

    Yes the year was listed first. But trust me, it did have the Month and day as 03-11. It is NOW correct in showing 11-03.

    Hawk

  29. #149
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    Re: Was Larry Holmes….”The Greatest”?

    bump

    Hawk

  30. #150
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    Cojimar1945

    I really can't see Tony Tucker or Razor Ruddock beating Holmes, even the one that fought Tyson. Tucker was too ordinary and Ruddock was a one-armed bandit once he found out he could punch. Larry's pride alone would keep him in the fight with these two, IMHO; and I can see him outsmarting both of them.

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