By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing
Hall of Fame broadcaster “Colonel” Bob Sheridan talks to Fightnews.com® about former world heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, whom he rates as the best he has seen.
HOLMES WAS THE GREATEST
“Larry Holmes and Muhammad Ali both at their very best. That would be a real tough fight for Muhammad because of Larry’s jab. Also Larry’s versatility. He got knocked out three times in fights but came back to win those fights against Renaldo Snipes in Pittsburg and then against Ernie Shavers in Las Vegas also Mike Weaver in Madison Square Garden especially against Snipes when he went down and his eyes were rolling back but he got up to beat Snipes and he got up to beat Shavers and he got up to beat Weaver. No other heavyweight has done that in the history of boxing. When they were not only knocked down but knocked out and came back to win the fight. Larry Holmes rates number one in my rating.
“I think he would beat any other heavyweight. The Klitschko brothers (Vitali and Wladimir) would probably cause him some problems and so would Lennox Lewis because Lennox was so powerful and obviously George Foreman would give Larry problems but he was such a good boxer he would box George’s ears off and do the same thing as Muhammad Ali did to him in Zaire and just box him and box him until Big George got exhausted and then he would knock him out.”
TYSON FURY V LARRY HOLMES
“Tyson Fury who holds the WBC title against Larry Holmes would be a good fight. Larry is the better boxer but Tyson has improved that much and is such a big hulk of a guy. Tyson Fury might have been a problem for Larry because of his size. He has got a decent jab also. Tyson is a stronger puncher than Larry but Holmes is a better boxer. That fight is a toss-up. I could see either winning that fight. That fight would have been beautiful if it could have happened in both their primes. Fury is in his prime right now and I think he beats anyone he fights now. Larry Holmes beats Anthony Joshua easily.
GREATEST HEAVYWEIGHT FIGHT
“The best heavyweight fight I’ve ever seen in my life for real drama was Larry Holmes against Ken Norton for the WBC heavyweight title. I had them dead even going into the fifteenth round and I was going nuts and Larry just barely eked him out. Ken Norton was another dangerous guy who could punch and in his prime could take a punch.
PRESIDENT REAGAN PHONE LINE TO COONEY
“Gerry Cooney was another great puncher who fought Larry in his prime. A story that never came out is that President Ronald Reagan at that time had a telephone in Cooney’s dressing room but he didn’t have one in Larry’s. If that would have got out at that time it would have been horrible politically. Cooney was the “ Great White Hope” who had a great punch but Larry just boxed his ears off. I knew that about the phone in Cooney’s trailer for the President but I couldn’t report it because it was too politically charged with black versus white. There was no phone in Larry’s trailer who was the reigning heavyweight champion of the world
HOLMES JAB WAS A WEAPON
“Larry’s jab was a real punch because technically he would have his back squared away and he would step up into his jab. His left jab was a punch. He knocked guys down and out with his jab.
HOLMES FIGHTING HEART
“The greatest thing Larry had was the heart of a champion. The ability to be actually knocked out with eyes rolling back in his head and get off the canvas which he did somehow and against Snipes. That’s tremendous courage. That’s the thing that great champions have.
Ray Leonard had it. Tommy Hearns had it. Roberto Duran had it. Marvin Hagler had it. All those great champions had it. Oscar De La Hoya had it in his prime.