Rocky Marciano vs. Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes!

By Ken Hissner - 03/06/2024 - Comments

I can picture Rocky Marciano at ringside with Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes after Holmes lost for the first time in 49 fights to light heavyweight champion Michael Spinks and Holmes saying, “Marciano couldn’t wear my jockstrap!” He’d have a smile on his face and think, “Let’s get it on!”

For his entire career, Holmes stuck out his left jab and held it there without warning from any referee. Marciano, being the shorter of the two and the harder puncher would have come in low with a right uppercut on Holmes’s left elbow, and you would hear Holmes screaming in pain!

Marciano knocked out 43 of his 49 opponents. He knew how to beat on your arms for four or five rounds until you could no longer raise them. Holmes, without his jab, would be defenseless!

Both Earnie Shavers and Eric “Butterbean” Esch, 65-2-3, had Holmes on the canvas in the tenth and final round. Shavers had Holmes down in the seventh round. Holmes insisted the bout being scheduled for ten rounds with “Butterbean the “King of the four rounders”, feeling he would stop him in the latter rounds after giving him a beating.

He was wrong when “Butterbean” went the distance, losing 96-93 on one card. Only once in his career did he have a bout scheduled for more than four rounds, that an eight that he ended in two rounds.

In May of 1983, Holmes, 42-0, faced “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, 15-0. Holmes was awarded a split decision. Why no rematch?
In May of 1985, Holmes, 47-0, defeated Carl “The Truth” Williams, 16-0, winning a disputed decision. One judge had it 143-142.

Holmes, 44-0, somehow got permission from the Nevada commission to do a non-title fight against the son of “Smokin” Joe Frazier, Marvis Frazier, 10-0. At 2:57 of the first round, referee Mills Lane waved the mismatch off. Holmes stated after the fight “that’s for the whippings your daddy gave me in the ring!”

Marciano, 24-0, in December of 1949, knocked out Carmine “Bingo” Vingo, 16-1, in six rounds, who would never fight again. In his next fight, he got a disputed split decision win over Roland LaStarza, 37-0.

Though it wasn’t until he was champion that Marciano gave him a rematch, in September of 1953, ahead on the scorecards 7-3, 5-5 and 6-4, referee Ruby Goldstein waved it off in the eleventh round in favor of the champion. LaStarza was 53-3 and never stopped.

In Marciano’s next fight, he was ahead 5-1 and 6-1 twice in a rematch with former champion Ezzard Charles, 85-11-1, who had split the nose of Marciano in the seventh round. Referee Al Berl told Marciano between rounds, “I’m giving you just one more round, or I’m stopping it.” At 2:36 of the following round, Marciano knocked out Charles! The heart of a lion and the punch of Shavers.

LaStarza and Charles were two of Marciano’s six opponents that went the distance in their first fight and were stopped in the rematch.

How do you see it, boxing fans?

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