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Old 08-20-2007, 07:39 PM   #1
Jack Dempsey
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Default Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

I can honestly say I've not viewed a lot of footage of Holmes's title opposition, but I seen it posted a lot on here that they were not up to much.

Which HW fighters title opposition were better or worse than the Easton Assasin's?
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

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Originally Posted by Jack Dempsey
I can honestly say I've not viewed a lot of footage of Holmes's title opposition, but I seen it posted a lot on here that they were not up to much.

Which HW fighters title opposition were better or worse than the Easton Assasin's?
A lot of the guys who turned out to be good fighters - Witherspoon, Williams, Smith - were green and inexperienced when Holmes fought them. Tim Witherspoon and Carl Williams had only, what, about 16 fights each or so. Alot of the guys he fought were bums, guys like Scott Frank and Leroy Jones. But Holmes for the most part, at least up until 1982 or so, fought the best of the division, or at least tried to. After the Cooney fight, Holmes seemed to pick his opposition much more carefully. And he outright avoided Greg Page when Page was his mandatory. I think the best fighters that Holmes fought during his reign - Tim Witherspoon, Carl Williams, Gerry Cooney - were all green and inexperienced, but at least Cooney had a fair number of fights under his belt.
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

Meh, a lot of fighters Holmes fought may have been experienced, but they were also undefeated prospects.

I'd rather fight some of those guys Holmes beat later on when for one reason or another they had huge losing streaks and other misc things keeping them back.
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

I think one of your questions was " which titlists fought better or worse oppositon " Well, If Earnie Shavers was Holmes' best opponent, then Ali beats him by a long shot in terms of quality opposition. Ali defeated Shavers in 1977 at the age of 35, just 6 months before Holmes fought the same version of him. In addition, Ali's comp was infinately better when you look at his signature wins against Liston, Patterson, Norton, Frazier, and Foreman, in contrast to Holmes' best wins over an aging Norton, Witherspoon, Cooney, Berbick, Weaver and Snipes. As far as Holmes facing better comp than other champions.......Well........I've eaten some criticism for this before, therefore I won't list names of great champions, but let's just say you can do a search and draw your own conclusions. For now I'll profess, that Holmes comp was neither the best nor the worst.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

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Originally Posted by mr. magoo
I think one of your questions was " which titlists fought better or worse oppositon " Well, If Earnie Shavers was Holmes' best opponent, then Ali beats him by a long shot in terms of quality opposition. Ali defeated Shavers in 1977 at the age of 35, just 6 months before Holmes fought the same version of him. In addition, Ali's comp was infinately better when you look at his signature wins against Liston, Patterson, Norton, Frazier, and Foreman, in contrast to Holmes' best wins over an aging Norton, Witherspoon, Cooney, Berbick, Weaver and Snipes. As far as Holmes facing better comp than other champions.......Well........I've eaten some criticism for this before, therefore I won't list names of great champions, but let's just say you can do a search and draw your own conclusions. For now I'll profess, that Holmes comp was neither the best nor the worst.
Good, accurate post. But don't forget, Ali fought some older fighters too. Moore and Patterson are some.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

Only a few champs were worse than Holmes.

Perhaps most of Jack Dempsey's. Or even Jack Johnson in regards to title defenses. I also think of thowing in Patterson and Tommy Burns over Holmes.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

IMO I think people are too hard on Holmes for being a great buisness man, and nothing more. He wanted to make the most money he could with the lowest risk. You can not deny that when you stepped into the ring to take his belt, you were going to go through all hell to get it though. As one of his former sparring partners said, it was like slapping his mama.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

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Originally Posted by Bill1234
IMO I think people are too hard on Holmes for being a great buisness man, and nothing more. He wanted to make the most money he could with the lowest risk. You can not deny that when you stepped into the ring to take his belt, you were going to go through all hell to get it though. As one of his former sparring partners said, it was like slapping his mama.

I understand most of the reasons that prevented Holmes from meeting some of his top challengers, and frankly I think a lot of it was more politics than it was dollar signs. The problem however, is that a champion has an obligation to the fans, the sport and the deserving contenders to defend his belt against the best. In 1983, you had at least 4 good figters who could have qualified for a shot against Holmes, namely Dokes, Coetzee, Thomas and Page. Instead, he chose to fight Rodriguez, Witherspoon, Frank and M. Frazier. I'll give him some credit for fighting Witherspoon, but not the other 3, as these were horrible choices for title matches, especially with so many other qualified options. Hell, even a rematch with Weaver would have been better and more highly thought of than a fight with Lucien Rodriques, wouldn't you agree?
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

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Originally Posted by mr. magoo
I understand most of the reasons that prevented Holmes from meeting some of his top challengers, and frankly I think a lot of it was more politics than it was dollar signs. The problem however, is that a champion has an obligation to the fans, the sport and the deserving contenders to defend his belt against the best. In 1983, you had at least 4 good figters who could have qualified for a shot against Holmes, namely Dokes, Coetzee, Thomas and Page. Instead, he chose to fight Rodriguez, Witherspoon, Frank and M. Frazier. I'll give him some credit for fighting Witherspoon, but not the other 3, as these were horrible choices for title matches, especially with so many other qualified options. Hell, even a rematch with Weaver would have been better and more highly thought of than a fight with Lucien Rodriques, wouldn't you agree?
Yes, but he came extremely close to fighting Coetzee. I beleive they were going to fight June 8, 1984. Or it might of been 1983. I'll check the poster at his gym tommorow. But anyway, the fight was called off about a month before fight night. I'm still trying to figure out why people bash him if they would have done it just the same even if he did fight all of them.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

While Holmes had some easy title defenses, I think his over all title run was solid. Only a handful of champions had better title runs than Holmes. The thing to focus on here is the politics of the time, and the activity of Holmes as champion. Not all fights could be made.

As champion, Holmes did not cash out on washed up names to cement his legacy. Foreman, Frazier, and Lyle might have taken a pay day, but Holmes never offered them fights. Instead, Holmes fought many un-defeated fighters coming off big wins, and lots of punchers. Many of Holmes opponents were in the ring not only to get paid, but to win at all costs. Witherpoon might have had only 15 fights, but you would never know that by watching him that night. I tend to think Holmes beat the best version of Witherspoon.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendoza
While Holmes had some easy title defenses, I think his over all title run was solid. Only a handful of champions had better title runs than Holmes. The thing to focus on here is the politics of the time, and the activity of Holmes as champion. Not all fights could be made.

As champion, Holmes did not cash out on washed up names to cement his legacy. Foreman, Frazier, and Lyle might have taken a pay day, but Holmes never offered them fights. Instead, Holmes fought many un-defeated fighters coming off big wins, and lots of punchers. Many of Holmes opponents were in the ring not only to get paid, but to win at all costs. Witherpoon might have had only 15 fights, but you would never know that by watching him that night. I tend to think Holmes beat the best version of Witherspoon.

Great post. I agree with all of it.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

Some easy?? Try a LOT.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

Most of Larry's title challengers had either been champions themselves, were reigning champions, or eventual champions, whether it be for the WBC, IBF, WBA, NABF, USBA, EBU, or even at the state level (Shavers and Frank).

The only contenders Holmes defended against who never held a title at any level were Scott LeDoux (although he also challenged Greg Page for the USBA HW title), Renaldo Snipes (who was also repelled in challenges for both the USBA and NABF HW titles), Gerry Cooney (subsequently turned back by Mike Spinks in a later bid for the linear HW Title), Tex Cobb (wins over Shavers, Mercado, Leon Spinks, and two extremely close decision losses to Norton and Dokes which could have gone either way, as well as a 4 round TD loss for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight title), and Marvis Frazier (with wins over James Broad, James Smith, James Tillis, Joe Bugner, Jose Ribalta and Philipp Brown).

Without Larry's presence to stabilize the division through the first half of the 1980's , the status of the World Heavyweight Championship would have been as incomprehensibly chaotic as it is today.

No, Holmes never defended his title against Page, Dokes, or Pinklon Thomas. But they all had an opportunity to prove themselves as a viable championship alternative to Larry in the HW title picture, and they all failed miserably. When Mike Spinks eventually was awarded a decision over Holmes, the heavyweight picture did indeed decline into chaos before Tyson cleaned up the mess. (SRL's decision over Hagler was similarly ruinous to the established hierarchy of the middleweight division. It may have been an exciting upset on the scorecards, but it was a disatrous outcome for boxing. At least the Holmes/Mike Spinks contests were for 15 rounds.)
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:15 AM   #14
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

His title opposition was pretty mediocre, but the fact that he kept winning for so long sort of compensates for it. Quantity over quality in this case.

I think Witherspoon, Norton and Weaver (in hindsight) were his best opponents. The thing that bothers me is that he barely got by the former two and struggled against the latter and didn't give any of them a well-deserved rematch. In other words, his title run could've been way more impressive but he chose not to take risks.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:24 AM   #15
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as shit as they say???

I think the honourable and righteous Don King once quipped "I had to get most of Larry's opponents out of the morgue" or words to that effect.
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