Heavyweight hero Larry Holmes talks modern-day boxing on Ringside

Last Updated: 27/11/13 4:47pm

Holmes: bemoaned the loss of the jab

Heavyweight legend Larry Holmes told Ringside he is disappointed that the jab is not used more in modern-day boxing.

Holmes, heavyweight champion of the world between 1978 and 1985, reckons current fighters are too concerned with sending their opponents crashing to the canvas, rather than teeing up a victory with subtle shots.

"I am okay with 12 rounds because it's less punishment in the ring and they get out quicker."

Larry Holmes

However, the Georgian - whose CV includes victories over Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton and Tim Witherspoon - said he is glad that bouts are now contested over a shorter distance of 12 rounds.

"Most fighters don't use the jab like we used to," said Holmes. "They try to go for knockouts but you can't win fights by doing just that and have to set things up with the jab.

"There is also a lack of great heavyweights out there, but I am okay with 12 rounds because it's less punishment in the ring and they get out quicker."

British super-middleweight James DeGale, meanwhile, was outpointed over 12 rounds when he clashed with Carl Froch's next challenger George Groves in May 2011 and Sky Sports pundit Glenn McCrory thinks the spotlight has been off the Harlesden fighter since.

But the former world cruiserweight champion believes DeGale - who won Olympic Gold at middleweight at the Beijing Games in 2008 and whose defeat to Groves remains his only professional reverse - must now showcase his star quality.

"James is a bit stagnant at the minute so his career needs a lift and he needs to be in with the big names soon," said the County Durham-born McCrory, who won 30 of his 39 fights as a pro.

"The pressure was taken off him after the loss against Groves and that allowed him to develop without the pats on the back, but now he needs to work hard to get to where he wants to be."