|Nickname(s)||The Easton Assassin|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Reach||81 in (206 cm)|
|Born||November 3, 1949|
Cuthbert, Georgia, U.S.
|Wins by KO||44|
Larry Holmes (born November 3, 1949) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1973 to 2002. He grew up in Easton, Pennsylvania, which led to his boxing nickname of the Easton Assassin.
Holmes, whose left jab is rated among the best in boxing history,held the WBC heavyweight title from 1978 to 1983, The Ring magazine and lineal heavyweight titles from 1980 to 1985, and the inaugural IBF heavyweight title from 1983 to 1985. During his only title reign, he defended his title against 19 fighters, the second most in history behind Joe Louis and the most since the international expansion of boxing governing bodies. Holmes is the only fighter to have stopped Muhammad Ali and the only man still alive to have beaten Ali.
Holmes won his first 48 professional bouts, including victories over Ken Norton (the man he defeated in 1978 for WBC Championship), Ali, Earnie Shavers, Mike Weaver, Gerry Cooney, Tim Witherspoon, Carl Williams and Marvis Frazier. He fell one short of matching Rocky Marciano's career record of 49–0 when he lost to Michael Spinks in an upset in 1985. Holmes retired after losing a rematch to Spinks the following year, but made repeated comebacks. He was unsuccessful in four further attempts (against Mike Tyson in 1988, Evander Holyfield in 1992, Oliver McCall in 1995 and Brian Nielsen in 1997) to regain the heavyweight title. Holmes fought for the final time in 2002, aged 52, against the 334lb Eric "Butterbean" Esch, and ended his career with a record of 69 wins and 6 losses, all of these in title fights.He is frequently ranked as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time and has been inducted into both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and World Boxing Hall of Fame.
Holmes was the fourth of twelve children born to John and Flossie Holmes. After the family moved to Easton, Pennsylvania in 1954, Holmes' father went to Connecticut. He worked as a gardener there until his death in 1970. He visited his family every three weeks. "He didn't forsake us", said Flossie Holmes. "He just didn't have anything to give." The family survived on welfare.
To help support his family, Holmes dropped out of school when he was in the seventh grade and went to work at a car wash for $1 an hour. He later drove a dump truck and worked in a quarry.
When Holmes was nineteen, he started boxing. In his twenty-first bout, he boxed Nick Wells in the semifinals of the 1972 National Olympic Trials in Fort Worth, Texas. Wells, a southpaw known for unprecedently high knockout-to-win percentage for an amateur boxer, with a majority of knockouts coming in the first round, stopped Holmes in the first round. Nevertheless, Holmes was chosen by a selection committee of the National Olympic authorities to fight at the Olympic Box-offs in West Point, New York, where he had a match-up versus a fighting seaman, Duane Bobick. Holmes was dropped in the first round with a right to the head. He got up and danced out of range, landing several stiff jabs in the process. Bobick mauled Holmes in the second round but could not corner him. The referee warned Holmes twice in the second for holding. In the third, Bobick landed several good rights and started to corner Holmes, who continued to hold. Eventually, Holmes was disqualified for excessive holding.
After compiling an amateur record of 19–3, Holmes turned professional on March 21, 1973, winning a four-round decision against Rodell Dupree. Early in his career he worked as a sparring partner for Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Earnie Shavers, and Jimmy Young. He was paid well and learned a lot. "I was young, and I didn't know much. But I was holding my own sparring those guys", Holmes said. "I thought, 'hey, these guys are the best, the champs. If I can hold my own now, what about later?'"
Holmes first gained credibility as a contender when he upset the hard-punching Earnie Shavers in March 1978. Holmes won by a lopsided twelve-round unanimous decision, winning every round on two scorecards and all but one on the third. Holmes's victory over Shavers set up a title shot between Holmes and WBC Heavyweight Champion Ken Norton in Las Vegas on June 9, 1978.
The fight between Holmes and Norton was a tough, competitive fight. After fourteen rounds, each of the three judges scored the fight dead even at seven rounds each. Holmes rallied late in the fifteenth to win the round on two scorecards and take the title by a split decision.
In his first two title defenses, Holmes easily knocked out Alfredo Evangelista and Ossie Ocasio. His third title defense was a tough one. On June 22, 1979, Holmes faced future WBA Heavyweight Champion Mike Weaver, who was lightly regarded going into the fight sporting an uninspiring 19–8 record. After ten tough rounds, Holmes dropped Weaver with a right uppercut late in round eleven. In the twelfth, Holmes immediately went on the attack, backing Weaver into the ropes and pounding him with powerful rights until the referee stepped in and stopped it. "This man knocked the devil out of me", Holmes said. "This man might not have had credit before tonight, but you'll give it to him now."
Three months later, on September 28, 1979, Holmes had a rematch with Shavers, who got a title shot by knocking out Ken Norton in one round. Holmes dominated the first six rounds, but in the seventh, Shavers sent Holmes down with a devastating overhand right. Holmes got up, survived the round, and went on to stop Shavers in the eleventh.
His next three defenses were knockouts of Lorenzo Zanon, Leroy Jones, and Scott LeDoux.
On October 2, 1980, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Holmes defended his title against Muhammad Ali, who was coming out of retirement in an attempt to become the first four-time World Heavyweight Champion. Holmes dominated Ali from start to finish, winning every round on every scorecard. At the end of the tenth round, Ali's trainer, Angelo Dundee, stopped the fight. It was Ali's only loss without "going the distance" for a judges' decision.After the win, Holmes received recognition as World Heavyweight Champion by The Ring.
Ali blamed his poor performance on thyroid medication which he had been taking, saying that it helped him lose weight (he weighed 217½, his lowest weight since he fought George Foreman in 1974), but it also left him drained for the fight.
Holmes seemed to show signs of sadness in punishing Ali so much during the fight. He appeared in a post-fight interview with tears in his eyes. When asked why he was crying, he said that he respected Ali "a whole lot" and "he fought one of the baddest heavyweights in the world today, and you cannot take credit from him."
After eight consecutive knockouts, Holmes was forced to go the distance when he successfully defended his title against future WBC Heavyweight Champion Trevor Berbick on April 11, 1981. In his next fight, two months later, Holmes knocked out former Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Leon Spinks in three rounds. On November 6, 1981, Holmes rose from a seventh-round knockdown (during which he staggered into the turnbuckle) to stop Renaldo Snipes in the eleventh.
On June 11, 1982, Holmes defended his title against Gerry Cooney, the undefeated #1 contender and an Irish-American. The lead-up to the fight had many racial overtones, with promoter Don King and others hyping Cooney as the "Great White Hope." Holmes said that if Cooney wasn't white, he would not be getting the same purse as the champion (both boxers received $10 million for the bout). [ citation needed ] Holmes had no such arrangement. Lastly, boxing tradition dictates that the champion be introduced last, but the challenger, Cooney, was introduced last.Although Cooney tried to deflect questions about race, members of his camp wore shirts that said "Not the White Man, but the Right Man." In their fight previews, Sports Illustrated and Time put Cooney on the cover, not Holmes. President Ronald Reagan had a phone installed in Cooney's dressing room so he could call him if he won the fight.
The bout was held in a 32,000-seat stadium erected in a Caesar's Palace Parking lot, with millions more watching around the world. After an uneventful first round, Holmes dropped Cooney with a right in the second. Cooney came back well in the next two rounds, jarring Holmes with his powerful left hook. Holmes later said that Cooney "hit me so damned hard, I felt it—boom—in my bones."Cooney was tiring by the ninth, a round in which he had two points deducted for low blows. In the tenth, they traded punches relentlessly. At the end of the round, the two nodded to each other in respect. Cooney lost another point because of low blows in the eleventh. By then, Holmes was landing with ease. In the thirteenth, a barrage of punches sent Cooney down. He got up, but his trainer, Victor Valle, stepped into the ring and stopped the fight.
After the fight, Holmes and Cooney became close friends.
Holmes' next two fights were one-sided decision wins over Randall "Tex" Cobb and ex-European champion Lucien Rodriguez. On May 20, 1983, Holmes defended his title against Tim Witherspoon, the future WBC and WBA Heavyweight Champion. Witherspoon, a six to one underdog and with only 15 professional bouts to his name, surprised many by giving Holmes a difficult fight. After twelve rounds, Holmes retained the title by a disputed split decision.
On September 10, 1983, Holmes successfully defended the WBC title for the sixteenth time, knocking out Scott Frank in five rounds. Holmes then signed to fight Marvis Frazier, son of Joe Frazier, on November 25, 1983. The WBC refused to sanction the fight against the unranked Frazier. They ordered Holmes to fight Greg Page, the #1 contender, or be stripped of the title. Promoter Don King offered Holmes $2.55 million to fight Page, but the champion didn't think that was enough. He was making $3.1 million to fight Frazier and felt he should get as much as $5 million to fight Page.
Holmes had an easy time with Frazier, knocking him out in the first round.The following month, Holmes relinquished the WBC championship.
Despite his no longer being recognized by the WBC as champion, Holmes was still regarded as the lineal champion as well as being recognized as world champion by The Ring. On December 11, 1983, the newly formed International Boxing Federation extended recognition to Holmes, and he accepted.
As 1984 began, Holmes and Gerrie Coetzee, the WBA champion, were signed to unify the titles on June 15, 1984 at Caesars Palace. The fight was being promoted by JPD Inc., but it was canceled when Caesars Palace said the promoters failed to meet the financial conditions of the contract. Holmes was promised $13 million and Coetzee was promised $8 million. Even after cutting the purses dramatically, they still couldn't come up with enough financial backing to stage the fight.Don King then planned to promote the fight, but Holmes lost a lawsuit filed by Virginia attorney Richard Hirschfeld, who said he had a contract with Holmes that gave him right of first refusal on a Holmes-Coetzee bout. Holmes then decided to move on and fight someone else.
On November 9, 1984, after a year out of the ring, Holmes made his first defense of the IBF title, stopping James "Bonecrusher" Smith on a cut in the twelfth round. In the first half of 1985, Holmes stopped David Bey in ten rounds for his 19th title defense. His next against Carl "The Truth" Williams was unexpectedly tough. The younger, quicker Williams was able to out-jab the aging champion, who was left with a badly swollen eye by the end of the bout. Holmes emerged with a close, and disputed, fifteen-round unanimous decision.
Holmes' next fight had the potential to make boxing history. He agreed to terms to fight Michael Spinks, the undisputed champion at light heavyweight, for his twentieth world title defense. A victory for Holmes would have tied Rocky Marciano's mark of 49 consecutive wins without a loss. Spinks, meanwhile, was looking to join Bob Fitzsimmons as the only other boxer at the time to win titles at both light heavyweight and heavyweight. In addition, if he defeated Holmes, Spinks would become the first ever reigning light heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight title.
Before the fight Archie Moore, the long-time light heavyweight champion who unsuccessfully challenged for the heavyweight crown himself twice, predicted an easy win for Holmes: "I'm afraid Larry will chew him up. Michael may be faster than Larry, but you can only go so fast."Despite the assessment, it indeed would be Spinks whose historical destiny would be fulfilled, as he defeated Holmes via unanimous decision to become the first reigning light heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight title. After the fight, a bitter Holmes said, "Rocky Marciano couldn't carry my jockstrap."
Holmes had a rematch with Spinks on April 19, 1986. Spinks retained the title with a disputed fifteen-round split decision. The judges scored the fight: Judge Joe Cortez 144–141 (Holmes), Judge Frank Brunette 141–144 (Spinks) and Judge Jerry Roth 142–144 (Spinks.)In a post-fight interview with HBO, Holmes said, "the judges, the referees and promoters can kiss me where the sun don't shine—and because we're on HBO, that's my big black behind."
On November 6, 1986, three days after his 37th birthday, Holmes announced his retirement.
On January 22, 1988, Holmes was lured out of retirement by a $2.8 million purse to challenge reigning Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson. Tyson dropped Holmes in the fourth round with an overhand right. Holmes got up, but Tyson put him down two more times in the round, and the fight was stopped. It was the only time Holmes was knocked out in his career. After the fight, Holmes again retired.
Holmes returned to the ring in 1991 and became a much more active fighter, usually fighting on USA Tuesday Night Fights cards every few weeks against up and comers and journeymen. After five straight wins, he fought Ray Mercer, the undefeated 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist, on February 7, 1992. Holmes pulled off the upset and won by a 12-round unanimous decision.(Holmes later claimed that he fought Mercer in spite of having a detached retina. ) The win got Holmes a shot at Evander Holyfield for the Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship. On June 19, 1992, Holyfield defeated Holmes by a twelve-round unanimous decision.
On April 8, 1995, he fought Oliver McCall for the WBC title. Holmes lost by a close 12-round unanimous decision. Two of the judges had him losing by one point, while the other judge had him losing by three points.
Holmes was back in the ring five months later, resuming the pace he had set since his comeback. However, he was growing tired of the sport and, after he fought and knocked out Anthony Willis in June 1996 on another USA boxing event, Holmes announced that unless he received a shot at the title, the fight against Willis was likely to be his last.
On January 24, 1997, Holmes got his last opportunity to fight for a heavyweight championship when he traveled to Copenhagen to fight undefeated International Boxing Organization champion Brian Nielsen. Nielsen won by a 12-round split decision to retain the title.
Holmes and George Foreman signed to fight on January 23, 1999 at the Houston Astrodome. Foreman called off the fight several weeks before it was to take place because the promoter failed to meet the deadline for paying him the remaining $9 million of his $10 million purse. Foreman received a nonrefundable $1 million deposit, and Holmes got to keep a $400,000 down-payment of his $4 million purse.
Holmes' next two fights were rematches with old foes. On June 18, 1999, he stopped "Bonecrusher" Smith in eight rounds,and on November 17, 2000, he stopped Mike Weaver in six.
Holmes' final fight was on July 27, 2002 in Norfolk, Virginia. He defeated Eric "Butterbean" Esch by a 10-round unanimous decision.
Holmes invested the money he earned from boxing and settled in his hometown of Easton. When he retired from boxing, Holmes employed more than 200 people through his various business holdings. In 2008, he owned two restaurants and a nightclub, a training facility, an office complex, a snack food bar and slot machines.[ citation needed ] Holmes currently co-hosts a talk show What The Heck Were They Thinking?
In 2014, Holmes sold his business complex in Easton to business entrepreneur Gerald Gorman, CEO of Lawyer.com.
In 2016, Holmes guest starred as himself in an episode of Mike Tyson Mysteries , titled "Unsolved Situations".
In 1979, Larry Holmes married Diane Robinson, with whom he has had two children.He also has three daughters from two previous relationships.
Larry's younger brother, middleweight contender Mark Holmes, fought between 1980 and 1987 and had a record of 38 wins and one defeat with 17 knockouts, but never received the opportunity to fight for a world title.
Larry currently resides in Palmer Township, Pennsylvania.
Holmes was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008.
|75 fights||69 wins||6 losses|
|75||Win||69–6||Butterbean||UD||10||Jul 27, 2002||Scope, Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.|
|74||Win||68–6||Mike Weaver||TKO||6 (10), 0:45||Nov 17, 2000||Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.|
|73||Win||67–6||James Smith||TKO||8 (10), 2:00||Jun 18, 1999||Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S.|
|72||Win||66–6||Maurice Harris||SD||10||Jul 29, 1997||The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|71||Loss||65–6||Brian Nielsen||SD||12||Jan 24, 1997||Brøndby Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark||For IBO heavyweight title|
|70||Win||65–5||Anthony Willis||KO||8 (10), 1:13||Jun 16, 1996||Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.|
|69||Win||64–5||Quinn Navarre||UD||10||Apr 16, 1996||Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.|
|68||Win||63–5||Curtis Sheppard||KO||4 (10), 2:41||Jan 9, 1996||Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.|
|67||Win||62–5||Ed Donaldson||UD||10||Sep 19, 1995||Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.|
|66||Loss||61–5||Oliver McCall||UD||12||Apr 8, 1995||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||For WBC heavyweight title|
|65||Win||61–4||Jesse Ferguson||UD||10||Sep 8, 1994||Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Shakopee, Minnesota, U.S.|
|64||Win||60–4||Garing Lane||UD||10||Mar 8, 1994||Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.|
|63||Win||59–4||José Ribalta||UD||10||Sep 28, 1993||Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.|
|62||Win||58–4||Paul Poirier||RTD||6 (10), 3:00||May 18, 1993||Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.|
|61||Win||57–4||Ken Lakusta||RTD||7 (10), 3:00||Apr 13, 1993||Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.|
|60||Win||56–4||Rocky Pepeli||RTD||4 (10), 3:00||Mar 9, 1993||Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.|
|59||Win||55–4||Everett Martin||UD||10||Jan 5, 1993||Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.|
|58||Loss||54–4||Evander Holyfield||UD||12||Jun 19, 1992||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||For WBA, WBC, and IBF heavyweight titles|
|57||Win||54–3||Ray Mercer||UD||12||Feb 7, 1992||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|56||Win||53–3||Jamie Howe||TKO||1 (10), 1:57||Nov 12, 1991||Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.|
|55||Win||52–3||Art Card||UD||10||Sep 17, 1991||Marriott's World Center, Orlando, Florida, U.S.|
|54||Win||51–3||Michael Greer||KO||4 (10), 1:18||Aug 24, 1991||Neal S. Blaisdell Arena, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.|
|53||Win||50–3||Eddie Gonzales||UD||10||Aug 13, 1991||Hyatt Regency, Tampa, Florida, U.S.|
|52||Win||49–3||Tim Anderson||TKO||1 (10), 2:03||Apr 7, 1991||The Diplomat, Hollywood, Florida, U.S.|
|51||Loss||48–3||Mike Tyson||TKO||4 (12), 2:55||Jan 22, 1988||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||For WBA, WBC, and IBF heavyweight titles|
|50||Loss||48–2||Michael Spinks||SD||15||Apr 19, 1986||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||For IBF, and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|49||Loss||48–1||Michael Spinks||UD||15||Sep 21, 1985||Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||Lost IBF, and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|48||Win||48–0||Carl Williams||UD||15||May 20, 1985||Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S.||Retained IBF, and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|47||Win||47–0||David Bey||TKO||10 (15), 2:58||Mar 15, 1985||Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||Retained IBF, and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|46||Win||46–0||James Smith||TKO||12 (15), 2:10||Nov 9, 1984||Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||Retained IBF, and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|45||Win||45–0||Marvis Frazier||TKO||1 (12), 2:57||Nov 25, 1983||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained The Ring heavyweight title|
|44||Win||44–0||Scott Frank||TKO||5 (12), 1:28||Sep 10, 1983||Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.||Retained WBC, and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|43||Win||43–0||Tim Witherspoon||SD||12||May 20, 1983||Dunes, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBC, and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|42||Win||42–0||Lucien Rodriguez||UD||12||Mar 27, 1983||Watres Armory, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.||Retained WBC, and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|41||Win||41–0||Randall Cobb||UD||15||Nov 26, 1982||Astrodome, Houston, Texas, U.S.||Retained WBC, and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|40||Win||40–0||Gerry Cooney||TKO||13 (15), 2:52||Jun 11, 1982||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBC, and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|39||Win||39–0||Renaldo Snipes||TKO||11 (15), 1:05||Nov 6, 1981||Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.||Retained WBC, and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|38||Win||38–0||Leon Spinks||TKO||3 (15), 2:34||Jun 12, 1981||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Retained WBC, and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|37||Win||37–0||Trevor Berbick||UD||15||Apr 11, 1981||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBC, and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|36||Win||36–0||Muhammad Ali||RTD||10 (15), 3:00||Oct 2, 1980||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title;|
Won vacant The Ring heavyweight title
|35||Win||35–0||Scott LeDoux||TKO||7 (15), 2:05||Jul 7, 1980||Metropolitan Sports Center, Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|34||Win||34–0||Leroy Jones||TKO||8 (15), 2:56||Mar 31, 1980||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|33||Win||33–0||Lorenzo Zanon||KO||6 (15), 2:39||Feb 3, 1980||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|32||Win||32–0||Earnie Shavers||TKO||11 (15), 2:00||Sep 28, 1979||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|31||Win||31–0||Mike Weaver||TKO||12 (15), 0:44||Jun 22, 1979||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|30||Win||30–0||Ossie Ocasio||TKO||7 (15), 2:38||Mar 23, 1979||Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|29||Win||29–0||Alfredo Evangelista||KO||7 (15), 2:14||Nov 10, 1978||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Retained WBC heavyweight title|
|28||Win||28–0||Ken Norton||SD||15||Jun 9, 1978||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Won WBC heavyweight title|
|27||Win||27–0||Earnie Shavers||UD||12||Mar 25, 1978||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|26||Win||26–0||Ibar Arrington||TKO||10 (10), 1:38||Nov 5, 1977||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|25||Win||25–0||Fred Houpe||TKO||7 (10), 0:47||Sep 14, 1977||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|24||Win||24–0||Horace Robinson||TKO||5 (10)||Mar 17, 1977||Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico|
|23||Win||23–0||Tom Prater||UD||8||Jan 16, 1977||USS Lexington, Pensacola, Florida, U.S.|
|22||Win||22–0||Roy Williams||UD||10||Apr 30, 1976||Capital Centre, Landover, Maryland, U.S.|
|21||Win||21–0||Fred Askew||TKO||2 (10), 2:18||Apr 5, 1976||Capital Centre, Landover, Maryland, U.S.|
|20||Win||20–0||Joe Gholston||TKO||8 (10), 2:32||Jan 29, 1976||Allan P. Kirby Field House, Easton, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|19||Win||19–0||Billy Joiner||TKO||3 (10), 2:29||Dec 20, 1975||Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico|
|18||Win||18–0||Leon Shaw||KO||1 (10)||Dec 9, 1975||D.C. Armory, Washington, D.C., U.S.|
|17||Win||17–0||Rodney Bobick||TKO||6 (10), 2:46||Oct 1, 1975||Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, Philippines|
|16||Win||16–0||Charlie James||PTS||10||Aug 26, 1975||International Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.|
|15||Win||15–0||Obie English||TKO||7 (10)||Aug 16, 1975||Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|14||Win||14–0||Ernie Smith||KO||3 (8)||May 16, 1975||Convention Center, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.|
|13||Win||13–0||Robert Yarborough||KO||4, 2:58||Apr 26, 1975||Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|12||Win||12–0||Oliver Wright||TKO||3||Apr 9, 1975||International Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.|
|11||Win||11–0||Charley Green||KO||1 (8), 1:57||Mar 24, 1975||Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio, U.S.|
|10||Win||10–0||Joe Hathaway||TKO||1 (8), 2:47||Dec 11, 1974||Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|9||Win||9–0||Bob Mashburn||TKO||7 (8)||May 29, 1974||Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|8||Win||8–0||Howard Darlington||TKO||4 (6), 2:23||Apr 24, 1974||Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|7||Win||7–0||Kevin Isaac||TKO||3 (6), 1:05||Nov 28, 1973||Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.|
|6||Win||6–0||Jerry Judge||PTS||6||Nov 14, 1973||Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|5||Win||5–0||Bob Bozic||PTS||6||Sep 10, 1973||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||Don Branch||PTS||6||Aug 22, 1973||Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||Curtis Whitner||TKO||1 (4), 2:14||Jun 20, 1973||Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Art Savage||TKO||3 (4), 1:32||May 2, 1973||Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||Rodell Dupree||PTS||4||Mar 21, 1973||Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
Gerald Arthur Cooney is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1977 to 1990, and challenged twice for world heavyweight titles in 1982 and 1987.
Michael Spinks is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1977 to 1988. He held world championships in two weight classes, including the undisputed light heavyweight title from 1983 to 1985, and the lineal heavyweight title from 1985 to 1988. As an amateur he won a gold medal in the middleweight division at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
Kenneth Howard Norton Sr. was an American professional boxer who competed from 1967 to 1981, and held the WBC heavyweight title in 1978. He is best known for his fights with Muhammad Ali, in which Norton won the first by split decision, lost the second by split decision, and lost the final by a controversial unanimous decision. Norton also fought a slugfest with Larry Holmes in 1978, narrowly losing a split decision. These are all seen as great fights, and generally controversial, with some people thinking that Norton won them.
Leon Spinks was an American professional boxer who competed from 1977 to 1995. In only his eighth professional fight, he won the undisputed heavyweight championship in 1978 after defeating Muhammad Ali in a split decision, in what is considered one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. Spinks was later stripped of the WBC title for facing Ali in an unapproved rematch seven months later, which he lost by a unanimous decision.
Jimmy Young was an American heavyweight professional boxer. Young was known for his awkward, defensive style and counterpunching. He had his greatest success during the mid-1970s, most notably earning a victory over George Foreman in 1977 and losing a unanimous decision against Muhammad Ali. Young fought many significant fighters of his era, including twice outpointing Ron Lyle and losing only by a split decision to then-number one contender Ken Norton in a title eliminator in late 1977. A fellow boxer, Bobby Watts, was his cousin.
Earnie Dee Shaver, best known as Earnie Shavers, is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1969 to 1983, with two further comebacks in 1987 and 1995. A two-time world heavyweight championship challenger, Shavers is known for being one of the hardest punchers in boxing history. He scored 68 knockout wins with 46 of them in the first 3 rounds and 23 first round knockouts. He holds a 91.8% knockout-to-win ratio, and a 76.4% overall knockout ratio.
Boxing in the 1980s was filled with important fights, events and personalities that shaped the sport. Boxing in the 1980s was shaped by many different situations, such as the continuous corporate battles between the different world sanctioning organizations, the void left by Muhammad Ali as the sport's ambassador and consequent search for a new boxing hero, the continuous presence of Don King as the sport's most famous promoter, the surge of rival promoters as Bob Arum, Butch Lewis and Murad Muhammad, and major rule changes. In 1986, Mike Tyson emerged as a fresh new face in the heavyweight division, which had seen a decline in champion quality level after Ali's retirement and, later on, after longtime WBC ruler Larry Holmes' prime. In addition, the IBF and WBO began operating.
During the 1970s, boxing was characterized by dominating champions and history-making rivalries. The decade had many superstars, who also had fierce rivals. Alexis Argüello, for example, who won the world Featherweight and Jr. Lightweight titles in the '70s, had to overcome Alfredo Escalera twice before the decade was over.
Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney was a heavyweight boxing match that took place on June 11, 1982 in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. It was one of the most highly anticipated fights of the early 1980s.
Tim Witherspoon is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1979 to 2003. He was a two-time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBC title in 1984, and the WBA title in 1986. Witherspoon also worked as a regular sparring partner for Muhammad Ali.
Randall Craig "Tex" Cobb is an American actor, martial artist, and former professional boxer who competed in the heavyweight division. Widely considered to possess one of the greatest chins of all time, Cobb was a brawler who also packed considerable punching power. He began his fighting career in full contact kickboxing in 1975 before making the jump to professional boxing two years later. He challenged Larry Holmes for the WBC and lineal world heavyweight title in November 1982, losing a one-sided unanimous decision. Cobb took wins over notable heavyweights of his era such as Bernardo Mercado, Earnie Shavers, and Leon Spinks. He was ranked in the global top 10 heavyweight boxers by the Ring and BoxRec.
Alfredo Evangelista is a former Spanish-Uruguayan boxer. He was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. Evangelista has lived in Spain for a very large portion of his life.
Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks was a boxing match which took place on Monday June 27, 1988. Both men were undefeated and each had a claim to being the legitimate heavyweight champion. At the time, Tyson held the belts of all three of the major sanctioning organizations while Spinks was the Ring and Boxing Illustrated magazine champion, regarded as "The People's Champion," and was considered the lineal champion.
Mike Tyson vs. Tony Tucker, billed as "The Ultimate", was a professional boxing match contested on August 1, 1987 for the WBA, WBC and IBF Heavyweight championships.
Mike Tyson vs. Larry Holmes, billed as "Heavyweight History", was a professional boxing match contested on January 22, 1988, for the WBA, WBC and IBF Heavyweight Championships.
Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks was a professional boxing match contested on February 15, 1978 in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship.
Leon Spinks vs. Muhammad Ali II, was a professional boxing match contested on September 15, 1978, in New Orleans for the WBA and Lineal Heavyweight Championships.
The heavyweight unification series, also known as the Heavyweight World Series, was a sequence of professional boxing matches held in 1986 and 1987 to crown an undisputed champion of the heavyweight class. The series was produced by HBO Sports and promoted by Don King. It ended with Mike Tyson as undisputed champion, holding the championship belts of the International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association, and World Boxing Council.
Anthony "Tony" Perez is an American boxing referee and judge of Puerto Rican descent. During his career, he refereed many major boxing fights and participated in a number of boxing related documentaries.
José Manuel Ribalta is a Cuban former professional boxer who competed in the heavyweight division from 1982 to 1999. He is best known for his fight against Mike Tyson in 1986.
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|World boxing titles|
| WBC heavyweight champion |
June 9, 1978 – December 11, 1983
Title next held byTim Witherspoon
Title last held byMuhammad Ali
| The Ring heavyweight champion |
October 10, 1980 – September 21, 1985
| IBF heavyweight champion |
December 11, 1983 – September 21, 1985