The Recuperative Powers of Larry Holmes

WBC Champion Tyson Fury has previously shown against the most powerful puncher of his generation in Deontay Wider that the ability to absorb a punch and to get off the canvas is needed at times to become a great Champion which Larry Holmes was in his prime.

Larry “The Easton Assasin” Holmes, between 1978 to 1985 reigned supreme as the recognised Heavyweight Champion in which during that period of time defended his title on 20 occasions and is regarded by many as being one of the greatest Heavyweight Champions of all time.

Holmes was a smooth operator in the ring who had perhaps the best jab in Heavyweight Boxing history who fell agonisingly short of matching Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0 when controversially losing his 49th fight against Michael Spinks,

Earlier in his career, Holmes had been the sparring partner for the likes of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and the ferocious Ernie “The Acorn” Shavers.

Shavers is renowned for being one of the hardest punchers in the history of the Heavyweight Division who had in 1979 destroyed former WBC Heavyweight Champion Ken Norton in just one round which earned him a title challenge against Holmes.

Having only a year before coasted to a unanimous win against Shavers along with sparring numerous rounds with him, Holmes knew both the strengths and weaknesses of “The Acorn” and was a heavy favourite to inflict on Shavers another defeat.

Holmes as expected was dominating the fight with his superior Boxing skills until he felt the force of a murderous overhand right hand from Shavers in the 7th round which floored Holmes.

The power behind the punch would have ended the fight for many fighters such was the accuracy of the blow .  Similar to Muhammad Ali, Holmes could recuperate quickly when seriously hurt and with just 40 seconds left of the round, he miraculously not only survived but threw punches back at Shavers and in the end won the fight by stoppage in the 11th round.

Unlike previously Ali and later Mike Tyson, Holmes wasn’t the most charismatic of fighters who fight fans would flock to see, but he showed on more than one occasion in his reign as Champion his recuperative powers when seriously hurt as demonstrated against Shavers and former WBC and WBA Champion Tim Witherspoon.

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