Like everyone else, heavyweight great Larry Holmes was an interested viewer a week ago, when Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder clashed in their eagerly anticipated but ultimately one-sided rematch. And Holmes, a man who has always told it like he sees it, was less than impressed with Wilder. Speaking with Boxing Insider Radio, Holmes, who ruled the world from 1978 to 1985, said it looked to him as though Wilder “didn’t train properly or he overtrained.”
Holmes spoke of how Wilder didn’t jab enough, that Wilder hasn’t learned how to jab. “The Easton Assassin” also spoke about what would have happened if he had fought Fury. Now, this one would have been extremely interesting. Not surprisingly, Larry says he would have beaten Fury – by KO.
“Wilder didn’t train properly or he overtrained because he had no energy,” Holmes told the radio show. “He has guys working with him in his corner that still need to take lessons in boxing. There’s a lot of things that I thought he should have done but he didn’t do it. Mark Breland needs to learn how to teach people. He didn’t put any water on top of his head to keep him cool. Wilder is bleeding out of his ear and he didn’t put anything in there to get the blood out of there. Wilder probably had an equilibrium problem because of it. Just nobody was telling him anything. I would tell him, ‘hey, man, you got to jab.’ He doesn’t know how to jab. He’s got to learn how to throw punches and just get the guy out of there.”
Holmes was of course a master jabber, a great fighter who had good movement, an incredible chin and recuperative powers and a crunching right hand. Needless to say, a Holmes-Fury fight would have been a whole lot different to Fury-Wilder.
“I would’ve knocked Fury out,” Holmes stated firmly. “I would’ve hit him in the body, head, then circled around. Hit him with right hands and left hooks. I ain’t going to stand there and trade with him like Wilder did. It ain’t no match. You think Earnie Shavers would have been out there and quit? Muhammad Ali would quit? No. Joe Frazier quit? No. Kenny Norton quit? No. They would fight you until you ain’t got no fight left in you. But Wilder quit.”
Fury is a special talent, arguably the best big man on planet earth today. But how would Fury have coped had he fought in the mix that Holmes did? It was a golden era in the 1970s, with Ali, Holmes, Shavers, Norton, Foreman and so many others battling for supremacy. Fury is top dog today, but it’s likely plenty of fight fans will agree with what Holmes said here.
But what a great fight a Holmes-Fury showdown really would have been.