Larry Holmes believes several heavyweight greats would beat Mike Tyson

Last Updated: 09/01/14 6:55pm

Larry Holmes does not believe Mike Tyson should go down in history as one of the true heavyweight greats - and says he only lost to him due to bad timing!

The Easton Assassin believes that some of the fighters he beat were better than the man who stopped him in four rounds for his third defeat in a row.

Tyson was at his peak back on Janaury 22, 1988 - two weeks shy of 25 years ago - but Holmes is still adamant that the stars of the previous decades, would destroy the once-named 'Baddest Man on the Planet'.

"I'm not knocking Mike Tyson, no," he told Ringside Special. "But Joe Frazier would've beat him up.

"Before I fought Tyson I said: 'You know everybody raves about him, but he's got something wrong with him'."

Larry Holmes

"He'd his own style and Joe liked guys like that. Ali? He's slap him all day long with the jab. Kenny Norton? Too strong.

"George Foreman? Two seconds. Hits too hard. Anybody who comes at George Foreman, you have to box him - like Ali did, like I would do.

"You can't stay there with George Foreman and take no punches. George would tear your head off! It's like he's throwing the kitchen sink at throwing at you!"


Three years after their Atlantic City unification showdown - WBC, WBA and IBF - Holmes made another comeback while Tyson went to jail.

He became a world champion for one more fight in 1996 and lost to Evander Holyfield (twice), Lennox Lewis, Danny Williams and, finally, Kevin McBride, before calling it a day.

And that came as no surprise to Holmes, who even feared the worst long before they got in the ring.

"I said this to people before I even fought Mike Tyson," he said. "You know everybody raves about him, but he's got something wrong with him.

"I said, a year or so before I fought him, that he'd be dead or in jail. I said that because he's not living right, he's not doing the right things.

"Before that year was out, he was in jail and because he thought he was better than everybody he had the freedom to do what he wanted - and he did.

"My prediction came true!"


Holmes revealed that he was given at least $300,000 to fight Tyson, after losing not only his attempt to equal Rocky Marciano's 49-0 record by one, but the rematch with Michael Spinks.

"I was always in the gym but I wasn't gym fit."

Larry Holmes on his fight with Mike Tyson

He says he had been in the gym but was not fighting fit.

The man from Pennsylvania hadn't take nine months off until now and that, as much as his opponent's ferocious and frightening style, saw him lose again.

"I was always in the gym but I wasn't gym fit," he said.

"I mean I was getting hit when I went back in the gym to start training and guys were hitting me with punches that would hit me with them.

"I just dealt with it and I thought I could get Mike Tyson because he's a four-round fighter. Four, five rounds if I could last that long I could get him, set him up and what not.

"I misjudged; he hit me with a right hand - and I went down!

"I got up, moved around and stayed away from him for a little bit and tried to tie him up, set him up and get him in and again I went against the rope and bang!

"He hit me again and I went down."