Rank Larry Holmes' Challengers

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by sweetsci, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. sweetsci

    sweetsci Well-Known Member Full Member

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    In looking at all of Larry Holmes' title challengers, who was best, who was worst, and who was in between?

    Whether you feel that Holmes' reign started with the Ken Norton fight for the WBC title, the Leroy Jones fight when Ring magazine recognized him as champ, or the Muhammad Ali fight which cemented his lineal hold, it's up to you.

    Let's see your lists.
     
  2. The Funny Man 7

    The Funny Man 7 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I think Norton was pretty clearly his best win in any title fight, but since we're talking title defenses that doesn't really count. As far as defenses I'd say it goes something like:

    Tim Witherspoon
    Mike Weaver
    Gerry Cooney
    Carl Williams
    Earnie Shavers
    Leon Spinks
    Bonecrusher Smith
    Tex Cobb
    Ossie Ocasio
    David Bey
    Trevor Berbick
    Marvis Frazier
    Scott Ledux (RIP)
    Leroy Jones
    Scott Frank
    Alfredo Escalera
    Lucian Rodriguez
    Lorenzo Zannon

    My uncle was a huge Larry Holmes fan back in the day and decades after Holmes was done fighting he would still rip Zannon for being the worst title challenger ever. It makes me laugh to remember: 'Danny Williams stinks, but hey, he's not as bad as Lorenzo Zannon' :smile:
     
  3. ideafix12

    ideafix12 Active Member Full Member

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    TOP 5 TITLE DEFENSES

    Tim Witherspoon
    Mike Weaver
    Gerry Cooney
    Trevor Berbick
    Bonecrusher Smith
     
  4. Big Ukrainian

    Big Ukrainian Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Spoon was the best.

    Another strong (though often unexperienced) challengers at the time of the fight were Weaver, Cooney, Carl Williams, Berbick.

    Spoon and Shavers are another worthy challengers.

    Of the worst I'd pick Lucien Rodriguez who was knocked out THREE times by one of Holmes' weaker challengers, Alfredo Evangelista. How Holmes couldn't stop him, I don't know. Maybe he just toyed with weak opponent.
     
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  5. Boilermaker

    Boilermaker Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    If we assume Trever Berbick is the number 1 pick (and it is certainly an arguable pick), does this mean that you could argue that Ali was actually number 1!?

    I mean Muhammed Ali was well credentialled, he had beaten Shavers, Norton and Spinks from the list. He was completely outclassed by Holmes, of course, but he followed this up by actually drawing with Trevor Berbick, after the Holmes defence which, along with the extra time must (or at least arguably should) have seen him start that fight in worse shape than the Holmes fight.

    So, if a futher past it Muhammed Ali is good enough to draw with the best fighter on Larry Holmes Championship resume, does this make him the best win on Holmes' Championship resume?
     
  6. Eddie Ezzard

    Eddie Ezzard Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Two things for me.

    Was Ali v Berbick a draw? as I recall it, Trevor won fairly clearly. And is anyone even saying Trevor Berbick was the best defence. Tim Witherspoon seems to be the most popular choice at this early stage of the thread.
     
  7. CANNONBALL

    CANNONBALL Active Member Full Member

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    I thought Scott FRank was worse than Zanon
     
  8. Boilermaker

    Boilermaker Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    It was a draw. Some say they thought Berbick won, Ali started okay and winning but faded from memory.

    I think that people unfairly hold it against Ali because he was so far removed from his prime. I dont really think Ali is Holmes best challenger and dont know anyone who does. Berbick may not be the best challenger either, but he was pretty close or at least not too far from it. But i just thought it interesting that Ali technically had a close claim.

    I guess that really says just how good he was, as opposed to how bad the competition was.
     
  9. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Berbick was a very good fighter, but Witherspoon was only behind Norton as Holmes' best I think. And Larry would have stopped him in his prime.
     
  10. FrankinDallas

    FrankinDallas Boxing Addict Full Member

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    No Muhammed Ali?
    No Renaldo "Mr" Snipes?

    Actually a pretty poor group. There are a lot of them, but no really great ones (except for a way past it Ali).
     
  11. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I don't think anyone could be good enough to be "really great" in Holmes' prime. Not even prime Klitschkos, Fury, Joshua, or Bowe imo.

    I realize that's an unpopular opinion.
     
  12. Entaowed

    Entaowed Boxing Addict Full Member

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    This is the second time I saw a comment that Ali drew with Berbick, it was a clear UD loss.
    I do not know how people believe that it was a tie.
    Also the reason he was better than vs. Holmes is he was taking large quantities of a thyroid medication which mummified him, a performance de-enhancer as he tried to lose weight too quickly.
     
  13. sweetsci

    sweetsci Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I'll give it a go on my own thread.

    Tim Witherspoon
    Mike Weaver
    Michael Spinks
    Gerry Cooney
    Carl Williams (RIP)
    Trevor Berbick (RIP)
    Earnie Shavers
    Renaldo Snipes
    Leon Spinks
    Bonecrusher Smith
    Tex Cobb
    Ossie Ocasio
    Marvis Frazier
    Leroy Jones (RIP)
    David Bey (RIP)
    Scott Ledoux (RIP)
    Lucian Rodriguez
    Alfredo Evangelista
    Lorenzo Zanon
    Scott Frank

    Interesting that some of the lower guys beat some of the upper guys. But in the case of, say, Berbick being listed over Snipes, I feel that Berbick had a better overall career despite losing to Snipes. Conversely, despite Rodriguez losing to Evangelista and Zanon, I feel he put in a better effort against Holmes. So, granted, my rating criteria isn't consistent. But what ratings are perfect?
     
  14. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    The top 6 would be .....

    Shavers (coming off perhaps a career best win and improved on the first fight he had with Holmes, it was really his last chance at the big time and he gave it everything.)

    Weaver (didn't have a great record going in to the fight but he proved himself in the ring and confirmed his quality over the next couple of years.)

    Witherspoon (showed unusual skill and confidence for a challenger who had so few pro fights, a product of the still legendary Philadelphia gyms of the time.)

    Berbick / Snipes / Williams