The Easton Assassin was one of the very best the heavyweight division has ever seen but the unfortunate luck of succeeding Muhammad Ali and preceding Mike Tyson meant that he is often not appreciated for how good he really was. I had Larry Holmes featured in two of my articles, the top five greatest heavyweights of all time and the most underrated world champions of all time.
Holmes was most known for his jab which he no doubt picked up from being the sparring partner to Muhammad Ali but he was great at many other things too. For one Holmes had a real mean streak, for all his speed and thudding power, he was one person you didn’t want to get on the wrong side of. Holmes had a granite chin too, proven by the fact he got up from a thunderous punch by the hardest puncher of all time in Earnie Shavers and went on to win the fight!
In the clip below we see Larry Holmes coming up against an opponent who was intent on closing the gap against the jab of Holmes. Either he was trying to slide in behind the jab or he was trying to slip the jab whilst working his way inside and to then unload a combination on Holmes. We see how Holmes put a stop to this off the jab to then set up the uppercut to deter his opponent from trying to use that method to close the gap.
What Holmes would do is when the opponent slipped the jab, instead of retracting his jab back, Holmes would keep the jab out and instead turn it almost into a stiff arm to keep the opponent at bay to prevent them from moving inside. The jab was used to control the head of the opponent and from there as the opponent struggled to get inside, Holmes would hold him there with the stiff arm and throw a right uppercut – this was an excellent strategy because the opponent was trying to come in low meaning he was suspect to the uppercut and Holmes set the uppercut up perfectly off head control using the stiff arm. Watch the clip below to see a master at work…this is also one of the reasons why I believe if it was a prime Larry Holmes vs Mike Tyson, Holmes would have won because Tyson also like to come in low against the jab but in my opinion, Holmes jab and this move here, the head control with the uppercut, would have worked excellently against Mike Tyson – in fact it is something I have included in my breakdown of Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson.