Who was better boxer? Ezzard Charles or Larry Holmes

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Charlietf, Aug 16, 2020.

Better boxer

  1. Holmes

    12 vote(s)
  2. Charles

    28 vote(s)
  1. Charlietf

    Charlietf Well-Known Member banned Full Member

    Feb 25, 2020
    It is not a fantasy match, simply who do you think that was the better boxer.(skill)
  2. 70sFan865

    70sFan865 Boxing Addict Full Member

    May 30, 2019
  3. Blaxx

    Blaxx Member Full Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    Simply, Ezzard Charles. He has an argument for most complete on film.
  4. George Crowcroft

    George Crowcroft 'Snarky Little Gobshite' - IntentionalButt Full Member

    Mar 3, 2019
    Definitely Charles. Skillwise, Holmes was only better at jabbing. Actually, I think you could probably stretch to say that that was the only thing Holmes was better at fullstop. Although I'd probably give him the slight edge in chin.
  5. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    Charles pretty much had everything technically.

    Holmes obviously was much bigger.
  6. Charlietf

    Charlietf Well-Known Member banned Full Member

    Feb 25, 2020
    Yes i agreed with you guys, i think that Holmes had better jab and better chin and maybe was more a warrior toe to toe,but Charles was more skilled overall
    Knights107 likes this.
  7. Glass City Cobra

    Glass City Cobra Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jan 6, 2017
    There is a difference between skill and physical assets. Holmes was certainly skilled, but part of what made him great was his long reach and fast twitch muscles that enabled him to whip out that cracking left. He had a solid chin, which is more of a biological component, and good endurance/heart, which has to do with will-power and cardio. Holmes had good legs in his prime with good lateral movement but neglected this the older he got. A very sharp right cross and a powerful uppercut were his main offensive tools.

    But in terms of actual technique, skill, and strategy Holmes was fairly 2 dimensional and rarely got out of 1 gear. He mostly stayed on the outside attempting to outbox the opponent with basic but effective jab, jab, right hand, clinch, move and circle game plan. Or he'd stay ring center on the front foot and try to time them with counters. Tim Witherspoon was right in saying that he didn't have a lot of variety. He didn't have much of a hook and didn't consistently go to the body.

    Charles had every punch in the book and had very sharp punches. He Could box, counter, slug, or have a phone booth fight at close range. He was one of the few heavies that knew actual defense beyond simply covering up. He had good footwork and was aware of both his and his opponent's positions in the ring. He knew how to win rounds and knew when to go on the attack. He was a great combination puncher too.

    Charles was one of the most complete boxers not just at light heavy and heavy, but in general. His only flaws were that he could be a little too aggressive at times; it didn't take much to convince him to go to war or exchange. This could lead to him getting lumped up or having major swelling. His lack of raw power meant he often had to go the distance and was sometimes the victim of robberies.

    Charles is up there in the top 10 p4p for both accomplishments and in terms of skill. Holmes was a hell of a fighter with longevity and a seasoned veteran but wasn't as skilled overall as Charles.
    Blaxx, DKD, Jel and 8 others like this.
  8. Saintpat

    Saintpat Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    And power.
    JC40 likes this.
  9. Dance84

    Dance84 Unicorn and seastar land Full Member

    Oct 11, 2017
    Charles definitely almost a complete fighter. Heart skill speed athleticism. Underated power.
  10. George Crowcroft

    George Crowcroft 'Snarky Little Gobshite' - IntentionalButt Full Member

    Mar 3, 2019
    Absolutely not. Ezzard Charles was a huge puncher. His low percentage is a combination of a non-aggressive style, extremely good competition and fighting way past his prime vs bigger guys.
  11. catchwtboxing

    catchwtboxing Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Charles by a country mile.

    The best fighters Holmes beat were pseudo-greatish Ken Norton, and hot-and-cold Tim Witherspoon. Both were disputable decisions. He is not in the same category as a guy who beat Louis, Walcott, Moore, Maxim, and Lesnevich.

  12. The Morlocks

    The Morlocks Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Holmes hand down. Especially early in his career Charles was an aggressive boxer/puncher
    GOAT Primo Carnera likes this.
  13. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Never wrestle with pigs or argue with fools Full Member

    Jan 30, 2014
    Not sure there’s a more important and valuable skill in boxing than knowing how to use one’s jab and footwork to punish opponents while safely controlling the range of fighting.
    GOAT Primo Carnera and JC40 like this.
  14. Saintpat

    Saintpat Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    I dunno if I can go along with that.

    Regardless of his style it seems he would knock down more of the top guys he fought even if he didn’t rush in to finish them, and later on when he was past-prime (and I don’t see him fighting a lot of behemoths) we all know the power is the last thing to do but I still don’t see it.

    Neither of them is Tyson or Foreman in the power department but I think Larry’s right (and his uppercut) along with a jab that can knock a contender down (or sideways) make him the bigger puncher.
    JC40 likes this.
  15. JC40

    JC40 Boxing fan since 1972 banned Full Member

    Jul 12, 2008
    Yep, I would definitely rate Holmes as a better puncher AT HEAVYWEIGHT than Charles. Pound for pound is a different matter all together though.

    George Crowcroft and Saintpat like this.