If Larry Holmes Had Being Prime In the Early 70 s..?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Fergy, Mar 18, 2023.

  1. Barrf

    Barrf Well-Known Member Full Member

    Sep 19, 2021
    I think whatever else happens, he has a trilogy with Ali, wins at least one of them. Those fights would be like his fight with Norton, just a great all around match that goes the distance.
  2. Dynamicpuncher

    Dynamicpuncher Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jan 14, 2022
    I think Holmes is smart enough and crafty enough to box a smart fight and outbox Foreman. The longer the fight goes the better for Holmes as Foreman wasn't noted for his late stoppage power.
  3. BCS8

    BCS8 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    So. A Holmes vs Ali thread. I think Holmes would have given Ali all he could handle.
  4. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Mar 23, 2019
    Great post, Sangria. MAN I'd love to see those fights!!!
    Sangria likes this.
  5. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Mar 23, 2019
    Yes. Foreman did have Holmes' veritable kryptonite, the right, and would quite likely drop him. But Holmes in his prime had a habit of knocking the hell out of people whom did that, and I personally think Larry would more than survive; taking him into deeper waters and exposing prime George's not-so-great stamina.

    And Larry hit about as hard as Ali so sure, stoppage in 9 to 11 rounds at the most.
    Levook, Fergy, Sangria and 2 others like this.
  6. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Agree. Joe Frazier must be given a good chance to beat Holmes especially in the early 70s
  7. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    Pre loss Foreman i'd favor in a sweet matchup.
    I'd favor Frazier he's got the style advantage.
    I'd back the early 70's Ali.
    Norton is a split trilogy pick your favorite.

    His class and consistency takes him past everyone else.

    It's all about timing. If you go to the second half of the 70's when Ali, Foreman and Frazier are not as good and Holmes enters in his prime it's a different set of fights. Norton would still likely split a trilogy pre Ali III IMO.
    Levook, guilalah, Stevie G and 2 others like this.
  8. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    My rating of Holmes (in a H2H manner at least) took a dive after carefully assessing his prime bouts. I used to favor him over Tyson, Foreman, and Liston, for example. Now I think, all three sweep him :lol:

    Their's nothing wrong with picking Holmes here. It's just the kneejerk reaction to pick him without any doubt, that confuses me.
  9. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    DP, you're one of my favorite posters but I disagree.

    The thing is, if one actually rematches his prime fights, with the exception of Cobb, he very rarely outboxed his (far inferior to Foreman) opponents in the manner people here seem to think he'll do with Foreman. He didn't have pre-Exile (or even post-exile tbh) Ali's ability to effortlessly run circles around his opponents, and didn't have the power of say Louis, or Tyson to bomb his opponents out early.

    This was reflected in his fights, he often had to get his hands dirty, and go into the trenches to win. I see no reason why he'd be able to avoid this against Foreman, who was one of the absolute best at cutting the ring which not ONE person in this thread seems to be brought up, with all this talk of Holmes effortlessly boxing Foreman.

    He had an all time jab, absolutely. But guys like Snipes, Shavers, Weaver (again, not exactly a murderers row) etc all got around his jab at times to have their moments. Let's not forget Foreman also had an all time jab that would be very competitive with Holmes. He doesn't even need to win the battle, he merely needs to remain competitive to open up opportunities.
    Stevie G likes this.
  10. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    Funnily enough, they were matched up a while back in a heavyweight tournament.

    Fight Advantages:
    Hand speed- Holmes, Boxing Ability- Holmes, KO Power- Foreman, Chin- Foreman, Size- Foreman, Defense- Holmes, Endurance- Holmes, Adaptability- Holmes, Foot Speed- Holmes, Strength- Foreman, Jab- Holmes, Cuts- No advantage, Reach-Foreman 82-80:
    Total: Holmes 7-5-1

    Special Notes About the Fight:
    Foreman lost in his prime to two crafty boxers similar to Holmes, Jimmy Young and Muhammad Ali. Holmes was not as good defensively as Young and Ali but he did have a better jab and was better offensively. Foreman’s only career knockout came at the hands of Ali, and Young put him down in the 12th round in 1977. Ron Lyle also decked Foreman in their 1975 war. Holmes could be hit, he was floored by Renaldo Snipes, Earnie Shavers and Mike Weaver during his prime and none of the power punchers could hit like Foreman. Holmes only career knockout loss was against Tyson when he was close to forty years old. A key factor in any fight is the reach advantage, Foreman has a two inch advantage over Holmes.

    Common Opponents:
    Ken Norton
    : Foreman destroyed Norton in two rounds in 1974, while Holmes won a close decision over Kenny in 1978.
    Muhammad Ali: Foreman lost to Ali(8-KO) in 1974 while Holmes knocked out an over the hill Ali(11-KO) in 1980.
    Gerry Cooney: At the age of 41 Foreman disposed of Cooney in two rounds 1990, while Holmes defeated Cooney in 1982 in a 13-KO.
    Evander Holyfield: Both Foreman and Holmes were well past their primes when they faced Holyfield and both lost in 12 rounds by decision.

    Keys to the Fight:
    Would Holmes be elusive enough to avoid Foreman early. I think the difference in the fight would be Holmes jab and hand speed.

    Both in their primes
    Foreman tears into Holmes over the first seven or eight rounds, flooring him
    twice and staggering him several times. Holmes had trouble with the assaults of
    Ken Norton, Mike Weaver, Gerry Cooney and Ernie Shavers. Even Renaldo Snipes
    knocked him down. Some of these guys might hit as hard as George and some might
    even approach Foreman in sheer strength. But none possess the combination of
    punch, strength, ferocity and durability that Foreman brings to the table.
    Holmes is strong and durable - like Muhammad Ali - unusually so for a boxer
    type. He isn’t defensively as good as Ali and may not have quite as great a chin.
    But he is more constantly active and does not dance around for its own sake like
    Ali. This last point could have significant one for Larry against Ali, but not
    against Foreman.

    Big George runs out of gas in the seventh or eighth round. Holmes’ early
    trouble keeps it close for the next four. But then the Easton Assassin takes
    over with a vengeance, spearing the exhausted Foreman and maybe even scoring a
    knockdown, but George scores a close decision.

    Both late in their careers
    Also very close. George has improved in skill and stamina but is now slow
    beyond beyond. Larry is slower too. Foreman is still a potent puncher but though
    his power is basically strength-based, a small loss in what hand speed he had
    appears to have slightly diminished his punch, except perhaps against a
    relatively stationary target.

    Both men still have their durability and Holmes is also probably smarter than
    ever. Unlike the first fight, Larry’s speed advantage gets him to an early lead
    as George is really in glue for eight or nine rounds – though the fight is still
    close as George gets the harder shots in. Larry then goes flat-footed and things
    are about even over the last half, except George staggers Larry a number of
    times, nearly flooring him once. Again close, but his time it’s Larry who holds
    onto the early lead and wins.

    (Note: This fight should have been the Ali-Frazier rivalry of the late ‘70s and
    early 80s. But George’s early retirement prevented that from happening.)

    by Frank Lotierzo EAST SIDE BOXING

    Obviously this is very subjective. Most times when great fighters face each other and it's a close call, styles usually play a big role in who wins. I happen to place great importance on the actual head-to-head confrontation. When I evaluate fighters in trying to decide who would win, I take them from what I thought was their very best and try to picture how a fight between them would turn out. Picking the winner in a prime Foreman vs prime Holmes match-up basically comes down to, whether Holmes can make it to the 7th round. If Holmes can extend Foreman to the 7th round and beyond his chances for victory improve significantly because of his better boxing skills and stamina. The very best Foreman was the version we saw in between his fights with Frazier and Ali. The Foreman who fought after Ali during the '70s was a different fighter. After the Ali fight he fought more measured, trying not to go out like a sprinter, he worried about his endurance, thus rendering himself less effective. The Foreman pre-Ali never would have lost to Jimmy Young, he would have tore after Young like he did Ali (some look at the Young fight as to why Holmes would do well with Foreman). The difference is that Young couldn't have endured the same assault as Ali, and I question whether Holmes would've been capable either. The best Holmes was the one who fought between Norton and Ali. Seeing how Norton, Weaver, and Shavers were able to get to Holmes and hurt him, leads me to believe the pre-Ali Foreman, who was bigger, stronger, more aggressive and a much better puncher, would have been able to get to Holmes and hurt him enough to corner him and stop him inside of four or five rounds.

    Experts predicted outcome. Foreman 2-1

    This content is protected

    Very interesting read, it provides in depth analysis of many fantasy match ups, and includes former opponents of some of these guys such as Terrell and Wepner.

    I'd especially be interested in @Pugguy's and @JohnThomas1 thought's on the article. Look who makes it to the finals. :D
  11. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    Very interesting post. My own take is that Larry would gradually wear an always dangerous George down in the late rounds but would be walking through a minefield all the way - one big right hand from Foreman would turn everything around.
    Pugguy, swagdelfadeel and Fergy like this.
  12. choklab

    choklab cocoon of horror Full Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    Part of being the best guy of an era has much to do with closest rivals being a touch past their best a time the best guy is at his very best. I think it’s almost always the case. There’s always a time where one guy could have given him a better fight.

    It’s about being prime when everyone else your level isn’t prime and the ones coming up are not quite there yet.

    So among champions, you can throw a prime “anyone” into the 1970s and he can be champ. Because nobody but Foreman was really in their prime. Even he was a bit raw. Go through them all. Ron Lyle and shavers as late starters were older. Quarry Chuvalo, Patterson Ellis and Bonavena were already battle worn. Past those names you have good guys like Norton, Young and Bugner guys, that Larry or any “prime” ATG champion should beat anyway.

    The 70s was a great era but right at the start of the decade the best two, Frazier and Ali have had the edge knocked off by fighting each other. It levels the field.
  13. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Mar 23, 2019
    Liston would be very, very tough. Larry hated guys who could jab with him, and Sonny's was Elite.

    Not just that, but Sonny could box.
    Levook, Pugguy, Fergy and 1 other person like this.
  14. Rollin

    Rollin Active Member Full Member

    Nov 17, 2021
    70's would be ridiculously stacked. That's what.
    Levook, Pugguy, swagdelfadeel and 3 others like this.

    BELLERS Active Member Full Member

    Feb 22, 2020
    I think he would have given all of them more than enough to handle.
    He had a fantastic jab, good punch resistance & excellent stamina.
    l wouldn’t rule him out against anyone, even Ali.
    Levook, Fergy and Greg Price99 like this.