24.02.07 – By Michael Marley/Boxingconfidential.com: EASTON, Pa.–I made a surprise visit to the offices of Larry Holmes Enterprises Saturday morning and was quickly ushered into the former WBC heavyweight boxing champion’s inner sanctum. Larry and I go back to before he beat Ken Norton by winning the 15th and final round at Caesars Palace on June 9, 1978, to win the crown. I started to discuss the reported Lennox Lewis ring return but Holmes cut me off. Holmes expressed delight at seeing me and told he had a scoop for me. “You’re still writing for The New York Post, right?” ..
I mentioned something leaving the world’s greatest tabloid in the early 90s, about the Internet, about Boxingconfidential, and the ex-champ said, “How is it Boxing Confidential if you slap it all over the Internet?”
So what the’s dish, Sir Lawrence, I responded. Holmes put his AARP magazine aside, shoved his prune juice to the side, and pushed his bifocals down the bridge of his nose.
“I am coming back,” Holmes said. Here we go, I thought, the old Ali line. When I bite, Holmes will say….”to my senses.”
“No, really,” Holmes said. “I’m not 60 yet. Age is just a number like Social Security is just a number. I put in through Jose Sulaiman for one of those free passes to an immediate title shot. That, what’s it called…my memory slips once in a while….Champion, Champion Mortgage…no, that’s not it….Champion Tires, no…..Champion Emeritus status. That’s the ticket.”
Perhaps the Holmes empire, built mainly on real estate, had faltered. Maybe bad investments in soybean futures had come back to bite him. It must be for the money, right Larry?
“No, I don’t need the money,” Holmes said. “But why should I get passed over for Champion Emeritus status? I am Big Jack, remember, who started it all. I was a real champ for eight years, fought them all. Besides I can beat this champ now, this Ollie Moscow guy, with my left jab alone. I am just waiting for Don Jose to call me back from Mexico and tell me I have been approved.”
I started to leave the world HQs of the conglomerate known as LHE when I heard a shout behind my back.
“Hey, Marley, do you think Big George can become a Champion Emeritus too? He can donate some of his grills to the WBC Youth Fund or something. Now, man that is a biggie, me and Big George finally settling it in the ring. Emeritus Vs. Emeritus. George just turned 58 but he is a vibrant 58 from what I hear. Make sure that comes out vibrat, no Viagara 58, you dig? I sometimes don’t hear much, though, if you know what I mean.”
I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Then came Larry’s clincher.
“You think the West Virginia commission will let me wear the bifocals in the ring? I hear they’re pretty lenient down there.”
I turned, before leaving, and said, “All due respect, Champ, but what about the rights of top contender Sam Peter?”
“Oh, him, man he hits so hard it could jar his own kinfolk in Africa,” Holmes said. “He reminds me of Earnie Shavers. Earnie can’t get no free pass, never won the green and gold but…sorry, you old Acorn you. I heard a rumor Peter is going to fight James Toney again. They’re calling it ‘Third Time’s The Charm.’ He should get his title shot around the time he’s 40. But, since 50 is the new 40 and 40 is the new 30, what the hell is the big deal. I just hope that you and me and Big George…I hope we find out that 60 is the new 50.”
(Boxing parody. You should take this as seriously as the presidential candidacy of Mitch Green. Green is running on the “Blood” ticket. Vote red or be dead, something like that. Snoop Dogg ain’t buying it on the Crip side.)