Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes vs. “Big” George Foreman, Who Wins?

By Boxing News - 04/24/2023 - Comments

By Ken Hissner: Former world champions Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes and “Big” George Foreman were in negotiations to fight back on January 23, 1999, when Foreman pulled out due to the promoter, Roger Leavitt, could not secure financing in a timely manner after losing one of the major financial backers.

Leavitt had already given Foreman a $1 million dollar advance on his $10 million purse and Holmes $400,000 on his $4 million purse. Those deposits were nonrefundable.

Foreman, 76-5 with 68 knockouts, hadn’t fought in over a year and was pushing 50. Holmes, 66-6 with 42 knockouts had stopped James “Bonecrusher” Smith, 44-16-1, six months previously and was already 50. Foreman was coming off losing a disputed decision to former champion Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs in his last fight.

Holmes, as usual, was shooting his mouth off, blaming Foreman for pulling out. He was also most likely mad because Foreman was making two and a half times as much. What he didn’t seem to realize it was Foreman who was the crowd pleaser, being a big puncher, while Holmes, with his football straight arm jab setting up his opponents, playing it safe, wasn’t. While Foreman stayed retired, Holmes would go on to win his next and final two fights.

In November of 2000, stopping former champion Mike “Hercules” Weaver, 41-17-1, and in his final fight in July of 2002 coming off the canvas to decision Eric “Butterbean” Esch, 65-2-3. If “Butterbean” had Holmes down, you can just imagine what would happen when Foreman hit him. Granted, it was suspected “Butterbean” stepped on the foot of Holmes, but still, it was an official knockdown.

Typical move on the part of Holmes fighting a known “4 round fighter” who only had one eight rounder, besides all four rounders in his seventy previous fights. On his record, being made to fight his first ten rounder Holmes probably figured he’d wear him down, stopping him late in the fight.

I remember when Holmes, 44-0, as champion, had a non-title fight stopping former world champion “Smokin” Joe Frazier putting his son Marvis, 10-0, in for what “a payday?” It only took him 2:57 to stop the younger Frazier and to add insult to injury, said, “That’s for the whippings your daddy gave me in the gym!”

Well, both got a nice payday without throwing a punch, with Foreman walking away with $1 million and Holmes $400,000. Not bad, huh?

What do you think would have happened prime time to prime time between Holmes and Foreman? Holmes by decision or Foreman by knockout? Foreman only let eight of his losing opponents go the distance, while Holmes had only been stopped once, and that by “Iron” Mike Tyson in a mismatch.