Larry Holmes (b. 1949)
Georgia native Larry Holmes reigned as world heavyweight boxing champion
Holmes was born in Cuthbert, in Randolph County, on November 3, 1949, to Flossie and John Holmes. When Holmes was six, his family left Georgia for Pennsylvania, settling in Easton. As a teenager he learned to box at a local youth center. Under the guidance of former prizefighter Earnee Butler, the 6-foot-3-inch Holmes embarked on an amateur career in 1970. Three years later he turned professional, fighting under the moniker "The Easton Assassin." By 1978 Holmes's record stood at twenty-six wins and no losses, with nineteen knockouts, and he was ranked among the heavyweight division's elite. Holmes earned number-one contender status in March of that year when he defeated power-punching Ernie Shavers by decision over twelve rounds.
The victory set up a June 9, 1978, showdown with World Boxing Council heavyweight titlist Ken Norton.
Holmes's autobiography, Larry Holmes: Against the Odds, written with Phil Berger, appeared in 1998. Holmes last fought on July 27, 2002, scoring a ten-round unanimous decision. The victory gave Holmes sixty-nine wins in seventy-five professional fights, forty-four by knockout. He resides in Easton, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Diane. They have five children.
William Nack, "The Class of His Class," Sports Illustrated, June 21, 1982.
Pat Putnam, "Michael Played the Heavy," Sports Illustrated, September 30, 1985.
John Paul Hill, University of Georgia
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