3:30. and greg haugen was still going strong when i left.
In the words of trapper john mcintyre "My eyes were in my duffle bag"
3:30. and greg haugen was still going strong when i left.
In the words of trapper john mcintyre "My eyes were in my duffle bag"
Several prominent members of IBRO are no longer on the IBHOF selection committee for this very reason.Originally Posted by hawk5ins
Thoughts on IBHOF Class of 2008 Ballot
By Lee Groves (Oct 10, 2007)
Electors for the International Boxing Hall of Fame received ballots for the 19th induction class last week and have until Oct. 31 to respond either by mail or fax. This is the sixth time that I have taken part in the voting process and in each of the last three years I have offered my thoughts on who should get in, who should have stayed out and why I felt that way.
This year will be no exception.
When I opened the envelope, I quickly scanned the ballot for the three new names that replaced 2007 honorees Roberto Duran, Pernell Whitaker and Ricardo Lopez. When I found them, I realized that the IBHOF could have another problem on its hands. Before I discuss the newest nominees, allow me to address that issue and how I believe it can be rectified.
The Modern ballot – which covers fighters whose last bout took place no later than 1943 – contains 45 names, many of which have been present since I began voting in October 2002. Because the newest names have garnered most of the elections in recent years, those three slots have been like a revolving door while the other 42 names sit and collect dust. This tells me two things: The first is that the current electorate has made up its mind about their candidacies, and second, that something must be done to clear up this logjam and allow more new names to emerge.
There are several options available. First, the Modern ballot can be expanded to 50 names. It’s a nice, round number and there is enough space on the existing ballot to make room without too much trouble. Second, change the cut-off date from 1943 to 1960 and move the affected names to the Old Timers’ ballot. After all, 1943 is a full 64 years ago and anything that first took place that long ago shouldn’t be categorized as "modern." One only has to be 50 to join the AARP, for goodness sake, so if it’s good enough for them, it can be good enough for the IBHOF. If the Hall wants to wait until 2010 to make that change that would be fine by me so that the interval is an even 50 years. Then, every 10 years, the cut-off date will be moved up 10 years to maintain the category’s "modern" status.
My final suggestion may be the most controversial of all: Just as the top three vote getters are removed each year due to enshrinement, the bottom three should also be taken off due to lack of support. The cover letter that accompanies the ballot each year states that an independent accounting firm appointed by the Hall tabulates the ballots, so if they know which names drew the most votes, they should also know who received the least.
Because he is long retired, a fighter’s record is not going to change from year to year; the only thing that changes is the electors’ perception of that record. To allow for exceptional pools of new names, as was the case last year, a grace period can be bestowed because, after all, removal is forever and that shouldn’t be taken lightly. But if certain names are consistently in the bottom three, then they should be taken off because it is clear that they are drawing only a hard-core minority of support and that they are occupying slots that should be reserved for fresh candidates. Even more names should be taken off if they fail to attract a single vote from any of the 200-plus electors.
Speaking of fresh candidates, I will now address the IBHOF’s newest "kids on the block" – who they are, whether I voted for them, why I did or did not, why they might not be voted in by others and their chances of being enshrined.
Larry Holmes (1973-2002, 69-6 with 44 KO) – "The Easton Assassin" had the unenviable task of following Muhammad Ali, perhaps the sport’s most recognizable, charismatic and socially important figure of the last 50 years, if not ever. But Holmes managed to craft his own legend with talent, courage and sheer stubbornness, refusing to go away just because he felt others wanted him gone.
Did I vote for him? Yes, and without hesitation.
Why I voted for him: Why would I not? The man is a shoo-in based on his numbers alone – his seven-and-a-half year reign as a heavyweight champion (first for the WBC, then the IBF) and his 20 defenses placed him second in the divisional rankings. His title-winning effort against Ken Norton ranks among the best fights in heavyweight history, with the final round being one of the best rounds. He demonstrated unquestioned championship heart with his off-the-floor victories over Earnie Shavers and Renaldo Snipes, fights that are eerily similar because Holmes’ knockdowns occurred in the seventh and his knockout victories came in the 11th. While his roster of opponents has its share of lesser lights, he did to them what a great champion is supposed to do – dominate. When he had to step up to the plate against Norton, Gerry Cooney, Leon Spinks, Earnie Shavers, Tim Witherspoon and Carl Williams, he showed he had the right stuff to defeat them. Finally, Holmes experienced a renaissance of sorts at 42 when he schooled 1988 gold medalist Ray Mercer and had several good moments against a prime Evander Holyfield before losing the decision. At age 45 he came within one, two and three points of upsetting WBC champion Oliver McCall in April 1995. His jab was still so good in his 40s that then champion Lennox Lewis begged Holmes to show him how to throw the jab, then refused when Holmes instead asked for a title shot.
Why others might not: Before I begin, let me declare that anyone who doesn’t vote for Holmes should have his voting privileges revoked on the spot. That said, those who wish to nit-pick could say that he did not meet and defeat absolutely everyone he could have. The names of Greg Page, Michael Dokes and Gerrie Coetzee are noticeably absent. Holmes and Coetzee were actually scheduled to meet in a unfication superfight on June 8, 1984 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas but the fight fell through due to financial considerations. He also had a prickly relationship with the press, and there might be some Rocky Marciano fans among the voters who still won’t forgive him for saying Marciano "couldn’t carry my jock strap" despite his subsequent – and numerous – apologies.
Chances of enshrinement: Beyond question. If only one person is to be honored this coming June, it should be Holmes.
Naseem Hamed (1992-2002, 36-1 with 31 KO): Much has been said about his theatrical ring entrances, his cockiness and his outspokenness on virtually any subject under the sun. But no matter what side of the issue one occupies, all must agree that Hamed was one of the hardest hitting featherweights who ever walked the earth. The British-based Yemeni was beyond unorthodox as he twisted his rubber-like body in ways that defied physics and delivered knockout punches from seemingly impossible angles. Yet he made it all work as he became a mainstream superstar in Britain and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of the 1990s.
Did I vote for him? Yes, but not with as much conviction as I did for Holmes.
Why I voted for him: First, "The Prince" was a king for a long, long time. After beating the 37-fight veteran Vincenzo Bellcastro in shutout fashion to win the European bantamweight title in May 1994, Hamed demolished Steve Robinson in eight rounds to capture the WBO featherweight belt. Over the next five-and-a-half years, Hamed would defend that title 15 times and would twice win unification fights against longtime IBF champion Tom "Boom Boom" Johnson (KO 8) and WBC king Cesar Soto (W 12). He would have won a third unification fight by seventh round KO had Wilfredo Vazquez not been forced to surrender his WBA title shortly before their April 1998 bout. When he wasn’t unifying belts, he scored quality victories over Manuel Medina (W 12), Kevin Kelley (KO 4), Wayne McCullough (W 12) and longtime IBF junior featherweight champion Vuyani Bungu (KO 4). Another victim, Paul Ingle (KO 11) went on to capture the IBF belt. Finally, lesser title fight foes Daniel Alicea (KO 2), Billy Hardy (KO 1), Said Lawal (KO 1), Remigio Daniel Molina (KO 2), Juan Cabrera (KO 2), Jose Badillo (KO 7) and Augie Sanchez (KO 4) had a combined record of 165-12-3, a .927 winning percentage. If one removes Hardy’s 36-7-2 mark, the record soars to 129-5-1 (.956) so one can say Hamed defeated a very solid level of title-fight competition.
Why others might not: The biggest in-the-ring reason would be his shocking decision defeat to Marco Antonio Barrera on April 7, 2001 that was more lopsided than the 116-111, 115-112, 115-112 scorecards indicated. The Mexican brawler turned skillful boxer against Hamed, who was exposed as a horribly flawed fighter in terms of fundamentals. It was an undressing as graphic as the one Thomas Hearns administered to Pipino Cuevas in 1980 and, like Cuevas, Hamed would never be the same fighter. Following a dreary 12-round decision win over Manuel Calvo 13 months later, the 28-year-old Hamed announced his retirement and never returned despite persistent rumors of his imminent return. Voters might also hold Hamed’s polarizing personality, and perhaps his post-career legal problems, against him, but the biggest out-of-the-ring reason is because of his shameless and years-long avoidance of mandatory challenger Juan Manuel Marquez.
Chances of enshrinement: Good, especially since he has been featured on American television many times. Holmes will be the weekend’s biggest name for mainstream U.S. sports fans but Hamed would be a popular attraction for hard-core and international fans. Hamed may have some image problems (and his recent prison stint doesn’t help his case), but in my view the positives far outweigh the negatives. We will know in January whether the majority of electors feel the same way.
Miguel "Happy" Lora (1979-1993, 37-3 with 17 KO) – I was particularly happy – pun intended – to see Lora’s name on the ballot because he was one of my original "Deserving Dozen" candidates. In November 2003 I profiled 12 fighters that I believed merited their day before the electors and that day has arrived for the Colombian. For a while, Lora was considered the world’s best 118-pounder and we will soon know whether the voters will bestow boxing’s ultimate honor upon him.
Did I vote for him? Obviously yes, for I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t vote for a guy whose candidacy I’ve touted for years.
Why I voted for him: Lora’s record as bantamweight champion compares favorably with Hall of Famers Carlos Zarate, Ruben Olivares and Jeff Chandler. Lora scored five knockdowns en route to winning the WBC belt from future enshrinee Daniel Zaragoza, a man who in other fights demonstrated a sturdy chin. His first defense was an off-the-floor decision victory over top challenger and future triple champion Wilfredo Vazquez and other good fighters he defeated during his reign included Enrique Sanchez, former WBC flyweight champion Antonio Avelar, the 27-1-1 Lucio Lopez and former WBC bantamweight king Albert Davila. His record also boasts victories over onetime flyweight champion Gabriel Bernal, former IBF junior bantamweight champion Cesar Polanco, former IBF flyweight champ Rolando Bohol and title challenger Ramon Nery. Along with his record, I also looked at his skill set, which included swift lateral movement, quick hands and above-average if not exceptional power.
Why others might not: There are reasons why my fellow electors might choose to bypass Lora, both in and out of the ring. Inside the ropes, controversy swirled around his rematch with Davila when it was discovered that his bottle contained sugar water, which is illegal because the sugar could have provided Lora an artificial energy boost. The water was confiscated between rounds and was given to ringside officials. While a tiring Lora won a convincing decision – and while the WBC allowed the Colombian to keep his title – a cloud of doubt remains. The incident also begs this question: If Lora’s corner people were caught administering sugar water in the U.S., how many of his other title fights abroad were similarly tainted? Another strike against Lora is political in nature. Lora fits the profile of fighters who are perennially snubbed by the IBHOF electors: Non-American long-term champions in smaller weight classes who were not shown on U.S. television. Lora makes his first appearance on the ballot a full nine years after he became eligible, and while his name is a welcome sight it still is something that was long, long overdue.
Chances for enshrinement: Very slim, and I hope I’m proven wrong someday. On the ballot, there are five other fighters for whom I’ve voted all six years –Yoko Gushiken, Brian Mitchell, Masao Ohba, Myung Woo Yuh and Hilario Zapata – while I voted for a sixth, Jung Koo Chang, all three years he has appeared. All have sterling championship resumes, but because they are non-entities to the lion’s share of American-based electors they remain the odd men out.
Chang is considered the greatest fighter boxing-rich South Korea has ever produced and Yuh, whose 18 defenses in two reigns broke Chang’s junior flyweight divisional record of 15, is not far behind. Gushiken (13 defenses) was among the first great 108-pound champions while fellow Japanese Ohba defeated several quality challengers as WBA flyweight king before he was killed in a car accident at age 23. Mitchell, a South African forced to defend on the road due to a WBA ban on title fights in his homeland, managed to rack up 12 defenses in seven countries while two-division champion Zapata is one of the greatest defensive wizards the sport has ever known. If Lora is not enshrined this year, I hope it’s because one of these six has finally broken through.
The fact that the last two classes have included lighter-weight legends Michael Carbajal, Humberto "Chiquita" Gonzalez and Ricardo Lopez is a hopeful sign, but there are other eligible smaller men who aren’t even on the ballot. They include:
* Luis Estaba (retired since 1978)
* Jiro Watanabe (retired since 1986)
* Santos Laciar (retired since 1990)
* Gilberto Roman (retired since 1990)
* Antonio Esparragoza (retired since 1991)
* Danny Lopez (retired since 1992)
* Sot Chitalada (retired since 1992)
* Sung Kil Moon (retired since 1993)
* Lupe Pintor (retired since 1995)
* Yuri Arbachakov (retired since 1997)
* Genaro Hernandez (retired since 1998)
* Orlando Canizales (retired since 1999)
* Raul Perez (retired since 2000)
* Simon Brown (retired since 2000)
* Wilfredo Vazquez (retired since 2002)
And there are some larger fighters who deserve at least a look:
* Koichi Wajima (retired since 1977)
* Nigel Benn (retired since 1996)
* Chris Eubank (retired since 1998)
* Julian Jackson (retired since 1998)
* Juan Martin Coggi (retired since 1999)
Keep in mind that next year fighters who have been retired since 2003 will be eligible and you can bet that Lennox Lewis will be the Class of 2009’s biggest name. In the next decade, names like Arturo Gatti, Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez, Felix Trinidad, Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Oscar de la Hoya will appear. Each man is a virtual shoo-in for enshrinement, which means that only two spots will be available for others to squeeze through. And as long as fighters perennially rejected by the voters occupy available slots, the names listed above won’t ever be given their chance before the electors. And that’s a shame.
The IBHOF will reveal the names of the Class of 2008 in late January, and here’s hoping that the members of this group, whomever they may be, are as deserving as last year’s.
Whether they are or not though, you’ll be hearing from me again.
gatti, although Mr. excitement, is not a hall of famer. I would have to think long and hard about hamed. hard to believe lennox is eligible in 2008. seems like he just fought yesterday.
I like your recomendatios on the ballots , although ,unfortunately they make too much sense.
I would like to see mills lane inducted or at least on the ballot. If mercante is in, mills should be.
As to the requirements of the HOF being more strict, well I would not have a problem with it, but unfortunately that's not reality and most likely there will never be a very strict code for induction to the IBHOF. I feel that they are more interested in gaining financially from the HOF, which by inducting living fighters, no doubt makes more sense financially, but no HOF should be about money, but being that it is I think it would benefit fighters to have more than less at the moment!
Dan---Has anyone ever thought about starting up a HOF list for the IBRO as a whole with yearly elections? It could be similar to the HOF that Ring magazine use to have. I would think that fighters voted into an IBRO Hall would certainly be validated and deserving.
Would be eligible.
I agree he should be in. Even if he did go through his "every body shot was a low blow" phase for about 3 years following Holmes Cooney.
On the whole, a great ref.
Article by Dan Hernandez
Photos by Tom Baca-October 22, 2007
“Right now, I feel like I won the championship.” -- Alvaro “Yaqui” Lopez
The World Boxing Hall of Fame, “Where Champions Live Forever” celebrated this year’s inductees: Larry Holmes, Alvaro Lopez, Ricardo Lopez, Efren Torres, and Gerald McClellan. In an expanded category, Steve Albert, Joe Cortez, and George Benton were also inducted.
The press conference took place at the beautiful San Antonio Winery in Ontario, California, on October 11, 2007. Armando Muniz immediate past president of the HOF (Hall of Fame), and former welterweight title contender, was the main host and Emcee. He was charming and adroit in his duties going from English to Spanish and back again, as the crowd dictated, with great ease. When he was kind enough to allow me to take a picture with him, I said “don’t hit me” he replied, “Don’t worry, no bells!” He also encouraged me not to ever need him in his line of work. He has a successful bail bonds business whose slogan is: “I’ll fight until you’re out.” If I was in need of his services, that would be a very reassuring motto indeed.
Former WBC welterweight champ and present day thespian Carlos Palomino, was likewise personable and agreeable. Palomino and Muniz fought for the title with Palomino winning a decision and defeating Muniz in a non-title bout prior to the championship engagement. They appeared to be good friends and encouraging of each other’s efforts.
Due to personal business Larry Holmes, former Heavyweight Champ, was unable to attend. Also not in attendance were former WBC World Flyweight Champion, Efren “Alacran” Torres, who fought from 1961 to 1972 and participated in some of the greatest battles I have ever attended. He is in a coma at this writing from diabetic complications. Gerald McClellan, former outstanding World Middleweight Champion from the early 1990’s, is also fighting for his life as he has been since being stopped by Nigel Benn in an attempt to win the super middleweight title on February 25, 1995.
Steve Albert, well-known announcer for Showtime Championship Boxing since shortly after its inception 1986, was scheduled to appear, as was the respected referee Joe Cortez. Neither was able to be present at the press conference. It is regrettable; I was looking forward to meeting them.
However, I was able to meet the other HOF recipients: former top rated boxer and renowned boxing trainer, George Benton. Ricardo “Finito” Lopez, former straw weight champion of the world was also in attendance as well as Alvaro “Yaqui” Lopez, former light-heavyweight title contender.
I had conducted a telephone interview with “Yaqui” a short while back, and I was particularly pleased to meet him and his lovely wife, “Beno” (Beatrice.) They work very well as a team and were quite proud to be included. “Yaqui” began his speech by saying: “I was never a champion,”; the crowd hollered in unison “you were to us.” Yaqui, clearly moved stated: “Right now, I feel like I won the championship.” On being next to Matthew Saad Muhammad, former Light Heavyweight Champion and victor over Lopez in the “fight of the Year” of 1980, “Being next to him last year, I had no words.” On reflection, Alvaro added, “I made Saad very famous. He made me famous too, but he didn’t make me rich.” A reporter asked Lopez if he had been knocked down much and he laughingly said: “I went down about 20 or 30 times, but I always got up!”
George Benton was a top rated middleweight fighter of the 50’s and 60’s, with wins over former middleweight king, Joey Giardello and former heavyweight titleholder, Jimmy Ellis. His love for boxing was such that he became one of the highly respected trainers in the country. He was a recipient of the John FX Condon award for the “Trainer of the Year” voted by Boxing Writer’s Association of America in 1989 and 1990. Among others, he has worked with such luminaries as Joe Frazier, Evander Holyfield, and Pernell Whitaker. The list is extensive.
Ricardo “Finito” Lopez was Light Flyweight Champion of the world from 1990 through 1991 and defended his title 19 times, 17 by way of knockout. Lopez retired in 2001 after defeating African Zolani Petelo via an eighth round knockout in the world famous Madison Square Garden. When asked why he retired at a comparatively young age, Lopez replied: “It was most difficult to retire from boxing. But, boxing really retires you. Every fighter has to recognize when his reflexes have slowed down and it’s time to stop.” When asked about all the older fighters coming back into boxing Lopez said, “It gives me sadness when they return just for money; they risk the most important thing God gives us, health.”
I met “Indian” Willie, who claims to be the only Native American Boxing Promoter in the world. He promotes out of the Morongo Casino, an American Indian resort in California. He also works the corner of many participants in the boxing series “The Contender.” I asked if I should call him Willie and he quickly said, “No, my family calls me Willie, my boxing affiliations simply call me ‘Indian.’”
I also had the pleasure of meeting Armando “Mando” Ramos, former Lightweight Champion of the World, and currently on the Board of Directors of the HOF. He had some terrific ring battles and was a local favorite. Mando had been managed by the legendary Jackie McCoy, was an all-around athlete and could outbox the sluggers and out slug the boxers. Mando had a crowd-pleasing style and was always a pleasure to watch.
According to current HOF President, Adolfo D. Perez, “The focus of the HOF is to establish and maintain the memory of great fighters and boxing personalities.” They literally want to assure that our boxing hero’s will live forever. The HOF is still looking for a permanent home, having entertained offers from venues in Las Vegas and other areas, the final decision is withstanding.
Should Gatti make the Hall of Fame in five years' time?
By Marty Mulcahey
"This article is being written five years ahead of time. I can do this for one simple reason -- many of the electors at the International Boxing Hall of Fame have biases that are utterly predictable.
In January 2012, the IBHOF will announce their latest crop of inductees, and one name on that list will make many people happy. I, on the other hand, will sit in the corner of my favorite watering hole and cry for great fighters like Myung Woo Yuh, Davey Moore (the featherweight), Yoko Guhsiken and Brian Mitchell.
The above list of eminently more deserving boxers, based on career achievements and overall skills, will sit at home and wait in vain for a congratulatory phone call from the IBHOF. Meanwhile, somewhere in New Jersey, a phone will ring, and on the other end of the line, Arturo Gatti will thank IBHOF Executive Director Ed Brophy for his expected call.
Let me say that this is not a critique of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, which is an invaluable part of boxing's historical database. In general, the Hall of Fame does a fine job (Asian boxers excluded), and there are no glaring omissions. It is actually the opposite with the Hall, because it is their admissions that confuse. Jose Torres? Barry McGuigan? Ingemar Johansson? Ken Norton?
I loved watching Gatti fight, and I rooted for him as a fan. However, his induction would clearly be a case of popularity over substance. On the positive side, the Hall of Fame has caught up with some of its omissions in the past five years. During that time, Nicolino Loche, Eusebio Pedroza, Ken Buchanan, Duilio Loi, and Khaosai Galaxy entered the hall after being overlooked for far too long.
If the IBHOF were simply the home of the world's most exciting fighters, I would have no problem with Gatti going in immediately. But it isn't. In principle, Hall of Fames are established to give a permanent home to the truly elite. And before you say it, yes, excitement does play a role in their induction.
But the sole role? What about prolonged dominance? Consistency? Or just being the best at your weight class, none of which Gatti can lay a claim to.
If excitement is the overwhelming factor, then the IBHOF line forms behind Charley White, Tony De Marco, Ricardo Moreno, Bennie Briscoe, Danny "Little Red" Lopez, Lupe Pintor, Dave McAuley, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Frank Fletcher, Nigel Benn, Micky Ward and Diego Corrales. You will get no argument from me that such a section should exist, but only as an added attraction for future fans to marvel over. But let's separate the elite from the exciting.
If Gatti is elected into the IBHOF, then that organization must come forth with some kind of election guidelines. There is no way, in my opinion, that excitement should trump skill or merit.
Should there be a percentage system, where length of reign as the number one boxer in your division (we can use The Ring magazine ratings for this) is worth 40 percent of a final score, and intangibles like excitement, charisma and name recognition are valued at 10 percent? At least this way I can understand how some of the current enshrinees got there.
But from the looks of it name recognition is worth 85 percent alone.
I say all of the above because Gatti was never the best fighter in his weight class. He only made three title defenses at junior lightweight, and two at junior welterweight (he never defeated champion Kostya Tszyu, he merely won a vacant title). For the first seven years of his career he fought one boxer who had not lost at least once in his previous five bouts, and Gatti lost that fight to Angel Manfredy. He was blown out by the two Hall of Fame-caliber boxers he faced, and half his losses were via stoppage.
Who was the best boxer Gatti defeated? Tracy Harris Patterson (twice)? Leo Dorin? The faded Jesse James Leija or mentally shot Gabe Ruelas? Maybe the ridiculously outweighed Joey Gamache? Fellow warrior Ward?
All are fine fighters, but there are boxers out there who have triumphed over better opposition. Gatti never defeated a really good fighter in hostile territory either, as most of his wins came before his adoring East Coast fans. Don't we Americans deride European champions who stay at home, and never defeat elite boxers on the road?
I will see a Gatti induction as a step back for the IBHOF, who have done so well in the last couple years by inducting smaller boxers like Ricardo Lopez, Michael Carbajal, and Chiquita Gonzalez as well as foreign boxers like Loi, Locche and Galaxy.
So McGuigan and Johansson got in on name recognition during that time period. But I voiced my dissatisfaction for those selections as well, so I don't feel hypocritical about Gatti. At least that duo owns one win over a fellow Hall of Famer.
Again, this is not so much anti-Gatti as it is a professional achievement feature. I simply believe other fighters have done more to be forever memorialized than Gatti, whose fighting legacy in many ways surpasses the IBHOF, and I would wager more fans know of (and I count future generations in this) Gatti than are aware of the IBHOF as an institution."
Thanks for keeping this thread alive Mr. B and Hawk -- it's one of my favourites!
Hi Peter,Originally Posted by theironbar
Glad to do it.
We have 3/4ths of a year to enjoy this one!
I am all for talking about the Hall!
And thank you Frank as well!
Allthough a little early, I agree Gatti is not a hall of fame boxer. NJ=yes. Canadian=Y, IBHOF=no.
An informed source tells me Larry Holmes will be attending this years IBHOF banquet. A little surprising since he elected not to show up at the WBHOF induction ceremony and hasn't been to canastota in 12 years? I've heard many people complain "Larry charges too much or Larry won't sign without getting paid" I witnessed a reporter interview him for 40 minutes, then got angry when he wanted to do an additional interview on camera and larry wanted money. He couldn't believe it. I had to explain Larry Holmes to him.
If you ask Larry to sign a glove, he will gladly do it. If you ask him to sign 2, he believes the other one will be sold. If you want to make money off of larry, he wants some of that money. Very reasonable if you ask me. Larry granted an interview, but when you want to add an extra interview using a medium that can be sold and resold, he wants to get paid. I've seen larry ask an individual 100$ to autograph a very nice item. When the person pulled out his wallet, he said he only had 20$. larry said okay, took the 20$, and signed. Larry learned from the best, Don King. Ask for the moon and the stars and most of the time, you'll get at least one star. He doesn't need the money, but doesn't like to see others profit from his name and hard work without him getting anything in return.
I think larry is hilarious. One of the funniest, friendliest people you ever want to meet. I don't think he's wrong for looking out for himself either. I'm surprised he is going to canastota though. The staff of the hall are salaried and the hall has operating expenses. The hall makes money by selling autographed items. Induction weekend is their big money maker. Champions are given schedules of events they are supposed to sign at. The hall charges fans to attend these events. The boxers do not get reimbursed for their participation. As one champion said to me "okay, they gave me a ring, but do I have to come back every year and pay for it"? It will be interesting to see if larry attends all the events and signs hundreds of autographs.
I heard from a very good source that the reason Larry Holmes didn't make the WBHOF was because he wanted to fly first class, wouldn't fly coach, and he wanted to bring an entourage, all to be paid by the WBHOF, he was told no, so he stayed away.
I've seen Larry Holmes in person twice, and came away with very positive thoughts on the man both times. In 1983, I saw him working out for the Witherspoon fight, at Caesar's Palace (as I recall; might have been another hotel). Anyway, he was talking to the crowd while sparring, and was in a great mood. I overheard several people remark that they never knew the guy was so funny, and so nice.Originally Posted by Phillyfan
In 1984, I drove to San Diego, where he was doing an exhibition: sparring with several San Diego Charger linemen in order to raise money for a fighter who was injured very seriously in the ring in San Diego recently. Larry toyed with all four of the football players and clowned for the fans, and my friends and I enjoyed ourselves immensely. Interestingly, while the players were all introduced as being 6-4 to 6-6 in height, Larry was taller than every one of them! I've been suspicious of all football player tales of the tape since then.
To me, Holmes was a class act, notwithstanding his occasional odd remark on national TV and of course his constant harping on money. The guy seems very comfortable in his own skin, has lots of money, a loving family, roots in Easton seemingly forever . . . very grounded. To me, a Hall of Famer in every sense, especially with that illustrious record.
Initially larry said yes. He wanted money but had some business going on in california so he would try to fit the hall in. Slowly though, he started backing away saying he had other committments/charity events going on at the same time.Larry doesn't have an entourage that I know of. When word came back he might not be able to make it, the WBHOF tried to get Joe Frazier to come out and accept the award in his place. Joe said he would gladly do it, but one by one, he started making demands such as limo, first class mutiple tickets...etc. Finally the hall said thanks, but no thanks to Joe.Originally Posted by kikibalt
The IBHOF will not pay larry to attend either, but he is going there. It seems the boxing writers put it in his head the IBHOF was more prestigious than the WBHOF. It will be interesting to see if he signs everything the IBHOF puts in front of him.
Like I said before, I like Larry. I think he's been dumped on most of his life. First by Don King, then by everyone else. For example, being introduced second at the cooney fight and being ranked 10th all time greatest heavyweight by bert sugar. Larry fought them all, yet people bring up the bobick fight and "he followed Ali", all the time. Give the man his due. He is one of the top 3 heavies of all time, in my opinion. He earned every dollar. In easton, he can't buy property. When word gets out its larry looking, the price jumps way up. Easton seems to always come to him to attend charity events or donate time and money. His gym is open to anyone who wants to visit. He attends many charity events and hosts many also. Even at 51, he can give most, if not all, of the current heavyweights a run for their money. I think he would have beaten george foreman too.
There will no doubt come the tribute and profile pieces.
I hope when they do, the focus on Holmes will be his championship reign and not 86' and beyond.
I'm not expecting much so what we do get will be a pleasent surprise.
HeGrant, any new news on your Holmes Project? The Timing would be perfect given the induction in June.
Given Induction Weekend is upon us.
They're actually putting Curry in there.Amazing.
He did not get inducted.
This years inductees (From the IBHOF website):
BOXERS LARRY HOLMES AND EDDIE PERKINS
ELECTED TO INT'L BOXING HALL OF FAME
Promoters Mogens Palle and Frank Warren and journalists Dave Anderson and Joe Koizumi also enter Hall of Fame
CANASTOTA, NY - DECEMBER 11, 2007 - The International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum announced today the newest class of inductees to enter the Hall. Living inductees include heavyweight champion Larry Holmes (USA), junior welterweight champion Eddie Perkins (USA), promoter Mogens Palle (Denmark), promoter Frank Warren (UK), Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Dave Anderson (USA) and journalist Joe Koizumi (Japan).
“We're extremely excited about the Class of 2008 and very much looking forward to honoring the nineteenth class of inductees,” said Executive Director Edward Brophy. “All living inductees are anticipated to attend and participate in 2008 Hall of Fame Weekend festivities.”
The 19th Annual Hall of Fame Weekend is scheduled for June 5-8th in Canastota, NY. Over 20 events, including a golf tournament, banquet, parade and autograph card show, are planned. A celebrity lineup of over 50 boxing greats of yesterday and today will attend this year's Induction Weekend. The highlight of the weekend will be the Official Enshrinement Ceremony on the Hall of Fame Museum Grounds in Canastota, New York on Sunday, June 8th to welcome the newest members.
The Hall of Fame also released names of posthumous honorees: Middleweight Holman Williams in the Modern Category; light heavyweight Len Harvey, middleweight Frank Klaus, and welterweight Harry Lewis in the Old-Timer Category; trainer Bill Gore in the Non-Participant Category; and Dan Donnelly in the Pioneer Category. Inductees were voted in by members of the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians.
For more information on the events planned for the 2008 International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend, please call the Hall of Fame at (315) 697-7095.
10 things to still appreciate about Larry Holmes
By Don Steinberg
Special to ESPN.com
(Smile, Larry Holmes, you're being inducted into boxing's Hall of Fame.
It's time to retire the "underrated" tag for Larry Holmes. History's second-longest-reigning heavyweight champ takes his 69-6 lifetime record into the International Boxing Hall of Fame this weekend.
But let's send "underrated" off with a bang and 10 bells.
The reputation does seem past its expiration date. Oh, sure, Holmes rarely got his due as a fighter -- he even placed ninth in ESPN Classic's "Who's Number One?" list of the most underrated athletes ever. Few gave young Holmes a chance against Earnie Shavers in March 1978, but Holmes won. When he took a split decision to win the WBC heavyweight title against Ken Norton, almost exactly 30 years ago in June 1978, some said he just got lucky. Fans complained Holmes was no Muhammad Ali -- who could ever be? -- and Holmes was vilified when he beat a 38-year-old Ali in 1980. Many Americans even convinced themselves that the awkward Gerry Cooney had a chance against Holmes in 1982.
What were they thinking? Or hoping?
But more recently, Holmes made ESPN's top-10 list of all-time heavyweights. The Ring and Associated Press both rated Holmes No. 5 on their all-time lists.
Underrated? As he enters the Hall in Canastota, N.Y., Holmes is getting his props. Still, there's plenty about the Easton Assassin people have yet to fully appreciate:
1. The right hand
Holmes, right, is best remembered for his left jab, but his straight right was just as lethal.
Holmes' left jab is considered one of the great weapons in sports history, up there with Randy Johnson's fastball and Tiger Woods' chip shots. But Holmes had a devastating right. He threw it straight or overhand from the far end of his 81-inch reach. When in close, he'd whip it in to the head and body. His right nailed Michael Spinks for 12 rounds in their rematch, it sent Cooney pirouetting to the canvas in Round 2 to begin that demolition and it dispatched lesser opponents like Marvis Frazier in early rounds.
2. His guts
Holmes' heart as a fighter got a bad rap early. At the 1972 Olympic trials, he was disqualified for clinching against Duane Bobick. Someone wrote that Holmes crawled from the ring, and legend grew that he'd been a coward. But Holmes weathered big trouble to prevail in his first big pro test, against menacing Roy Williams in 1976. Holmes got off the canvas to beat Shavers in 1979 and Renaldo Snipes in 1981. Holmes was stopped just once in 75 fights -- when he was 38, by Mike Tyson.
3. His stamina
Holmes was the last great 15-round heavyweight champ, and he often surged late. Judges had his fight with Norton even after 14, and Holmes battered Norton for the final 30 seconds to win. He knocked out Mike Weaver in 12, Shavers in 11 (in their rematch) and Cooney in 13.
4. His fight against the system
Jack Newfield called the heavyweights of the 1980s the lost generation. In a division controlled by Don King, fighters like Tim Witherspoon, Greg Page, Michael Dokes and Tony Tubbs were robbed of pride and pay, Newfield wrote. Holmes escaped the worst of it. He formed his own promotion company in 1983 against King's wishes. In 1984, he jumped at the chance to become the first heavyweight champ for the fledgling New Jersey-based International Boxing Federation, which was formed to break the grip of established sanctioning organizations.
5. His sense of humor
Ali was a tough comedy act to follow. A lot of boxing fans didn't find it funny in 1985 when Holmes, just after losing his chance to tie Rocky Marciano's undefeated record of 49-0, said that Marciano "couldn't carry my jock strap." But people forget the first part of that remark: "If you really want to get technical about the whole thing, Rocky couldn't carry my jock strap." If you really want to get technical -- about qualifying to carry a jock strap. Like there's an official way to measure it. Priceless.[+] EnlargeAP Photo
Holmes, left, didn't take too kindly to losing to Michael Spinks.
6. A PG rating
Holmes often had a right to be outraged, but he wasn't crude. Many remember his bitter comments in the dressing room after his second rip-off decision loss to Michael Spinks: "I can say to the judges, the referees, the promoters, to kiss where the sun don't shine, and since we're on HBO, that's my big black behind." Yes, Larry, HBO lets you say "behind." There are Saturday morning cartoons that use worse language than that.
7. His political principle
Ali had been a leader in the antiwar and civil rights movements -- but Ali took money from a brutal dictator to fight in Zaire. Holmes spoke at protests against apartheid and says he turned down an offer of $30 million to fight Gerrie Coetzee in South Africa in 1984.
8. Ample ego
After Ali, everyone else's ego seemed small. But Holmes often called himself the greatest, too. And half of Easton, Pa., in Trump-like fashion, now has Holmes' name on it, including Larry Holmes Properties and Larry Holmes Enterprises on Larry Holmes Way.
9. His forgiveness
You'd think a guy who was so disrespected in his prime might stay bitter. It would be easy to hold a grudge against Cooney after the black-versus-white hype before their fight subjected Holmes to racism and insults. But Holmes and Cooney became friends and have worked together on efforts to help retired boxers. Living well is Holmes' revenge.
10. A golden throat?
Just kidding about this. Larry was horrendous performing "Let's Get it On" on VH1's "But Can They Sing?" On the mic, he's no Joe Frazier. He should have lip-synched, the way Pia Zadora did the national anthem before Holmes-Michael Spinks I.
Don Steinberg, a winner of the Boxing Writers Association of America's award for best column in 2005, covers boxing for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Originally Posted by Phillyfan
I had a feeling....
This one comment in an otherwise good article is misleading and was said to imply power that was in actuality quite diminished. Holmes was a guy who actually lost significant power in his right as he aged, I believe due to added weight and less speed causing a deterioration of the snap he certainly had with his right in the late 1970s-early '80s.Originally Posted by hawk5ins
He couldn't drop Spinks once in 2 fights with his right hand, or his left, so I think the author just made an error in this one comment regarding Larry's powerful right hand in Holmes-M. Spinks.
Talk about a stretch.
Now we're applauding Holmes for his political principle? Egads.
As for the PG rating, most all heavyweight champions pre-Tyson conducted themselves appropriately and refrained from public displays of profanity. Few however would refer to a fellow world champion as a "faggot" and a "sissy" as Larry did to Eddie Mustafa Muhammad in a Ring Magazine interview in 1980.
"In 1984, he jumped at the chance to become the first heavyweight champ for the fledgling New Jersey-based International Boxing Federation, which was formed to break the grip of established sanctioning organizations".....No wonder he jumped to the IBF with easy money mismatches like Scott Frank and Marvis Frazier getting rubber stamped.
Larry was a top 5 ATG heavyweight but this is an embelishment to put it simply.
I wonder which 3 rounds his right didn't nail Spinks in the rematch would be.
I was going to post something similar Sharks, but couldn't think of anything clever enough.
Glad I opted not to.
The sloppiness kills me. I'm sure it was merely a writer on auto-pilot. But if we wanted to get techno, about the whole thing...It COULD indicate that the author has no clue about the fight and is just typing. Not in this case I am sure, but still.
The whole point of includign the Spinks rematch as an example of a point being 'proven' and then relating the fight was a twelve rounder? Such stuff undermines the entire point of reading an article.
for him to point to Larry's working with Eddie Futch re the improved power on Holmes right hand. But I guess that would have entailed doing research and then explaining Berbick going the distance.....of 15 rounds.
Just threw the piece out there.
But it was indeed sloppy. When you KNOW there are those who are going to challenge your points and pick holes in these strengths of Larry's, would it have been too much to ask to have had all your ducks in a row before submitting it?
I would think even casual fans could pick up on most of the blemishes here.
Glad to hear Holmes was there for the induction ceremony. Hope all who were there had a great time. Looking forward to some neat tales of everyone's experiences.
Yeah, and I still don't understand how at 15 rounds of nailing Michael in fight #2 the author supports his point of Larry's fine right-hand power. Against others earlier in his career, yes. But against Michael over 30 rounds and not dropping him once . . . supposedly hitting him with rights all night in #2, and an ex-light-heavy at that who was dropped twice by one-punch KDs from Tyson . . . the author proved nothing by bringing up Michael Spinks.
read like a throw away sentence and with his stating it was 12 rounds, it sounds like he practically made it up without knowledge of what actually happened.
Two ways of looking at this and neither are good IMO. He never saw the fight and made it up or he did see the fight and somehow FORGOT it was a 15 rounder and even WORSE, somehow saw display's of Holmes power, that quite clearly at that stage of Holmes's game, was no longer there. Other than the moment in the 14th round when he had Spinks Badly hurt and staggering around the ring and Holmes simply didn;t have anything left for follow it up with.
Regardless, even the most diehard of Holmes fans would not point out THAT moment agianst Spinks as an example of Lar's power.