On Friday afternoon, former heavyweight champ Larry Holmes visited Madison Square Garden and gave MSG a pair of signed gloves, and signed a photo from his 1979 title defense over Mike Weaver that will be featured in The Garden’s new Signature Suite Level that will debut in late October as part of the third and final phase of The Garden’s top-to-bottom Transformation. The Signature Suites Lobby will feature memorabilia from people and events that have left their “signature” on The Garden.
Holmes not only fought in the Garden three times, but he served as a sparring partner for Muhammad Ali as Ali got ready for his first bout with Joe Frazier – “The Fight of the Century.” Holmes toured the arena and met with construction workers, one of whom screamed out “Larry you’re my idol.”
Holmes posed for pictures with him, and when asked if he still has that famous left jab, told the group: “I may have lost some of my hair, but I never lost that left jab.”
The Madison Square Garden Company President & CEO Hank Ratner accepted these incredible artifacts on behalf of the company while providing a first look at the new Chase Square lobby set to be unveiled later this month.
The historic, three-year $1 billion Transformation of Madison Square Garden will be completed this fall, fans will get their first look on October 25 when the Knicks take on the Charlotte Bobcats in their final preseason game.
Photo credits – Rebecca Taylor, MSG Photos