Happy Birthday to Larry Holmes who was born On this day in 1949 in Cuthbert, Georgia. Holmes is in my opinion one of the five greatest heavyweights we have ever seen, unfortunately being sandwiched amongst the two most famous boxers in history(Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson) means that he is grossly underappreciated – and I guess Holmes could be outspoken which rubbed some people up the wrong way. But as a boxer there is no doubt Holmes was one of the best ever – he had everything you needed to be a great champion…
Holmes was mean, he could be nasty with a real mean streak when he needed to, he was tough and durable – he could fight 15 rounds and dig deep, take the hardest punches(who can forget how he got up from THAT punch from the hardest hitter in history, Earnie Shavers), he was a great champion at heavyweight reigning from 1978 to 1985 and he went 48 fights unbeaten but most of all, he possessed quite possibly the greatest jab in boxing history and that is the video for todays article.
Muhammad Ali copied his style and that of his jab from Sugar Ray Robinson and Larry Holmes copied his jab from Muhammad Ali – the two were also sparring partners and it’s quite clear to see how much Holmes took from Ali but he may have actually took Ali’s jab and bettered it…
The jab of Larry Holmes was like a right hand. Holmes jab was very quick and very hard, he could whip it from chest level or hip level and each time it came with speed and power. Holmes could turn that jab into a stiff arm and use it to set up the right hand on the back of it. He could use that jab to measure the range of his right hand, keeping it in your face so you couldn’t see him unleash the right hand behind it.
Holmes could also use that jab in front of you with a step or use it on the bounce just like Robinson and Ali did, keeping you guessing and chasing. Just like the two greats mentioned, Holmes would also use feints with the jab to confuse you further. Holmes would use a mix of feints to throw you off such as the subtle shoulder shrug or changing levels from body to head but he would also add in foot feints off the bounce.
With such a ferocious jab, whipping it, snapping it, feinting it and just plain out pummelling the jab in your face, it is no surprise why many see his jab as the best ever and Holmes perfectly epitomises the old saying in boxing that a good jab can take you around the world because Larry Holmes used that jab to not only become heavyweight champion of the world, but just like Ali he became one of the heavyweight greats.
Boxing Coach Strength and Conditioning Coach Boxing Author of: The Boxing Cheat Sheet - Your Ultimate Guide to Ring Survival Strength and Conditioning for Boxing - Work out Hits to get you Fighting Fit! Forgotten Legends of the Ring - Ten Past Masters of the Squared Circle *Any videos or images used on this site to support my articles that are copyrighted are used for educational purposes and in accordance to the fair use act and are not my own - all credit is due to the respective owners. No copyright infringement intended.
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