Larry Holmes is a retired professional boxer who was the WBC Heavyweight Champion from 1978 to 1983. Holmes was also the Ring Heavyweight Champion from 1980 to 1985, and the IBF Heavyweight Champion from 1980 to 1985. Holmes is considered by many to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.
Larry Holmes was born on November 3, 1949 in Cuthbert, Georgia. During his childhood, Holmes’s family was generally in great financial difficulty and they were forced to survive on welfare. He even dropped out of school in the seventh grade so that he could work at a car wash for $1 an hour.
Holmes started amateur boxing at the age of nineteen. After winning his first few fights, he fought Duane Bobick (the world amateur heavyweight champion of the time) for the 1972 Olympic Trials; Holmes eventually lost the bout due to disqualification for excessive holding. The Bobick fight would be Holmes last amateur bout, and Holmes ended his amateur career with a record of 19 wins and 3 losses.
Holmes fought his first professional match on March 21, 1973, against Rodell Dupree. At first, Holmes worked as a sparring partner for some of the best heavyweight boxers in the world, including Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Earnie Shavers and Jimmy Young. Holmes recalled that these sparring sessions helped him earn the confidence that ultimately helped him become the world heavyweight champion.
In March 1978, Larry Holmes shocked the world by defeating the world heavyweight title contender Earnie Shavers by unanimous decision. The victory against Shavers was also surprising for the boxing world as Shavers was considered by many to be the hardest punching boxer of all time. The victory set Holmes up for a title shot against Ken Norton in June 1978.
Holmes’s match against Norton was extremely competitive. Some sources state that Holmes took the match in the fifteenth round, with all judges voting the earlier fourteen rounds as draws. Holmes, now the new WBC Heavyweight Champion, then fought against Alfredo Evangelista and Ossie Ocasio, both