Larry Holmes Wanted to Stop Muhammad Ali Fight, Ref Told Him “Shut Up & Box”, Cried After (Part 3)

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Larry Holmes defeated Ken Norton for the heavyweight championship and defended his title seven times before facing Muhammad Ali. The former champ spoke on his title defenses, including the tough bout against Mike Weaver. Prior to the Ali fight, Holmes hadn’t received the proper respect of a heavyweight champion due to the large shadow Ali cast over the division. Holmes admitted that he knew he was in a no-win situation against Ali because if he won, critics would shrug off the victory due to Ali’s age.

Larry Holmes continued to speak on the bout against Muhammad Ali by explaining the circumstances surrounding the fight. While many believe Ali was dealing with Parkinson’s Disease during that time, Holmes rejected that belief and claims Ali had his faculties during the fight. Holmes added that Ali didn’t have Parkinson’s until after their fight and claims he told Ali not to fight him but Ali wanted the money. According to the former champ, Ali was paid $10 million for the bout and he was paid $3 million even though he was the defending champion.

Larry Holmes described his 1980 victory over Muhammad Ali, which was the first time in Ali’s career where he had a fight stopped. Holmes claimed Ali’s trainer, Angelo Dundee, knew Ali had no chance against him because he knew all of Ali’s habits after being his sparring partner. Holmes revealed that he wasn’t hitting Ali with a closed fist for much of the fight despite attendees encouraging him to beat Ali up. The former heavyweight champ also described crying after the fight and going to Ali’s dressing room to tell him he’d always be the greatest in his eyes.

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