Friday, June 6, 2008

Larry Holmes Fires Some Quick Jabs at Boxing

Holmes takes a jab at the boxing world - USATODAY.comLarry Holmes is finally being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. It's about time. Most of the kids around today will remember an aged Larry Holmes being dumped by Mike Tyson before Mike Tyson himself was dumped by Buster Douglas. But Larry Holmes sucessfully defended his title twenty times during his prime. In all of boxing history, I doubt there was guy who had a better jab, a jab that sizzled and smacked and parted the air in a room.


I used to work in the building next the one where Larry Holmes has his offices and other businesses and went over to chat with him whenever I could. Holmes was always tolerant of my occasional visits to bother him or one of his guards. He's not the kind of egregious personality who bubbles to be loved, but he has a natural way about him which makes him far more real to me than many of the plastic personalities in TV Land. Outside the ring, I never saw him be unkind to anyone, except for one poor dumb bastard who accosted him while exiting the elevator from his offices to complain about why he couldn't park in front of main door. I was watching the whole thing, hoping to see that piston jab snaking out to drop the guy in his tracks but I was disappointed. All it took for the guy to back down was a sharp look and a couple of quiet words from Holmes that I couldn't quite hear.

That guy must have been happy his whole life long thinking about how he'd escaped death that day.

But Larry Holmes deserves his entry to the Boxing Hall of Fame if anyone does. Go to boxrec and look up his records. Even some of those less famous names would be champion in our day of heavyweights. Ernie Shavers could launch people into space with his punch and have them serve as permanent communication satellites. Check it out. Larry Holmes was an Ali without the poetry and the jive. ESPN classic needs to televise his early fights.

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