Thomas Hearns, Earnie Shavers, Gerry Cooney and Larry Holmes are four of the Legends of Boxing who will be ringside Thursday night (Sept. 26) for the big boxing card at the Sands Bethlehem. They will be part of a gala cocktail party there during tonight’s weigh-in.
Holmes will be at his home-away-from-home since Easton, PA, is right around the corner from the Sands. The former World Heavyweight Champion is a familiar face at recent fight cards at the venue.
Easton is not the ghetto, nor is it the Garden of Eden. Take a ride through Easton and you realize it is not Monte Carlo, but Holmes made the best of it. He did what he had to do growing up there to help support his family and he did not start boxing until he was 19 years old.
Holmes had fewer than 50 amateur fights and many people did not think that he had the talent to make it onto the big stage, let alone become world champion. He was a sparring a partner for Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Jimmy Young, and he knew that he had what it would take to accomplish his goals.
In June, 1978, Holmes faced the late Ken Norton at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV, for the WBC heavyweight belt. Holmes was the underdog but, in one of the greatest heavyweight title fights of all-time, he earned a 15-round split decision despite having torn a bicep muscle in his left arm two weeks before the match. Pull out with an injury? Are you kidding me? Not Larry Holmes!
Holmes has invested his money both inside and outside of boxing. He currently has a restaurant in Easton called Champs Corner. Holmes is known for giving back to his town. He has hosted various events such as a 5k race/walk. The Larry Holmes Charitable Foundation enlightens, encourages and empowers today’s youth by motivating them to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle and to provide scholarship opportunities.
Not many people give back; Holmes does more than enough to help out his community, employing over 200 people in various ventures over the years. It will be an honor to have these men (Holmes, Cooney, Shavers, Hearns) in attendance tomorrow (Thursday) night and we hope that anyone attending the show not only recognizes what these men have done for the sport but also what they have done for themselves. They are true role models.