Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

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Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Urban Legend
Who takes it? Larry had such an outstanding jab. I think Larry might sneak out a split decision if he survives Joe's attacks. He was a better inside fighter than Ali was, which would work to his advantage against a swarmer like Joe.
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Duggerman
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Joe Frazier would beat Larry down the same way he did Muhammad Ali. If it were close, they would give the fight to Frazier. Frazier was robbed in the second fight with Ali because of Ali's popularity. I don't see Holmes surviving 15 rounds of torture against Frazier, but as you said, he's less vulnerable to Frazier than Ali was. Holmes was always open for overhand rights, but Ali was always open to left hooks. Frazier didn't throw his right to the head that much during his prime. Because of this, Holmes would do a little better against Frazier than Ali, but Frazier's body punching and endless stamina would win out for him. Frazier wins by TKO late in the fight.
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Zorro
Joe Frazier knocks him out late. I'm actually surprised that this fight didn't happen.
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Maximillian
Joe Frazier would beat the dog siht out of Larry.

Zorro wrote
I'm actually surprised that this fight didn't happen.
Larry didn't really emerge on the scene until the late 70s when Joe was on the way out. Having said that, I still think Joe had enough left in the tank to beat Larry. Look at what he did to Ali in Manilla, and look at how well he fought against George Foreman in 1976..

GIFSoup
"Take that, Big George!! I'mma BAAAD MAAN!! I shook up the world!!! I'm pretty!!!!"
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Shane
The Greatest wrote
Larry didn't really emerge on the scene until the late 70s when Joe was on the way out. Having said that, I still think Joe had enough left in the tank to beat Larry. Look at what he did to Ali in Manilla, and look at how well he fought against George Foreman in 1976..
That's what I was going to say. Joe specialized in ruining the classic boxers like Ali, Ellis, Foster, Machen, etc. Larry Holmes would be no different. Joe's pressure and nonstop attack would grind him down.
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Duggerman
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This post was updated on .
Redemption wrote
That's what I was going to say. Joe specialized in ruining the classic boxers like Ali, Ellis, Foster, Machen, etc. Larry Holmes would be no different. Joe's pressure and nonstop attack would grind him down.
I don't get it. You pick prime Larry Holmes to beat Tyson, but not Frazier?  Their styles are similar. They would both press the fight and wreck him with body punches and ferocious hooks. If Joe could beat Holmes, why can't Tyson? And to be fair, Tyson wouldn't need to grind him down. Tyson would brutally stop him, just as he did when they actually fought.
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Shane
Joe and Mike were different, Duggerman. Mike would come forward and throw big counters. He waited for the right moment to attack you. But a tall fighter like Larry would be smart enough to tie him up on the inside if Mike ever got close enough. His chin was great which I said before. It took prime Mike Tyson three knockdowns to finish Larry when he was shot. Young Larry would not get stopped.

Joe Frazier would have kept coming at Larry and throwing punches. It was harder to clinch Joe Frazier because he threw short punches inside and kept swarming you with punches. There's nothing you can really do when Joe came at you. But Mike Tyson always threw counters and just stood there in front of you if you withstood it. That's when you tied him up. Larry's ringsmarts, strong chin, jab and mobility would give Mike trouble, but Joe Frazier would stay in Larry's face all night and force him to fight at a vicious tempo that Larry wasn't comfortable with.
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Duggerman
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Thanks for clearing that up. I didn't understand why you felt that Holmes loses to Frazier but beats Tyson. I definitely see Frazier beating the crap out of Holmes in a long war of attrition.
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Duggerman
Administrator
Here's an in-depth article about how Frazier would beat Holmes.

http://coxscorner.tripod.com/frazier_holmes.html

Due to my passion for boxing beginning in mid 1966 as a six year old, I was fortunate to see the entire career of former heavyweight champions Joe Frazier and Larry Holmes. Due to their style contrast, Frazier (1968-71) versus Holmes (1979-82) is one of the more fascinating bouts to ponder the outcome. In the ring their approach to fighting and boxing couldn't be more opposite.
      Holmes was a boxing stylist and was at his best fighting outside while utilizing the ring as opposed to Frazier, who was a swarmer and pressured his opponent trying to shrink it. No doubt if Holmes had his choice, he'd like the infield of Yankee Stadium roped off as the ring if he were fighting Frazier. Given the same choice, Frazier would've chosen the Dome-Of-Silence that agent-86 used to confer with the Chief in "Get Smart," for the ring. In 1974, they did share the same ring when Holmes worked with Frazier to help him prepare for his rematch with Muhammad Ali.

      When discussing how a Frazier-Holmes bout would've turned out, most of the boxing people whose opinion I value believe Holmes held the stylistic advantage, something I totally disagree with. If you watched Frazier closely and fully understand what he was doing when he fought, there's only one conclusion. No other heavyweight understood how to fight boxers and movers better than Joe did. He didn't allow them to move or use the ring. His style forced the boxer to rush his punches trying to fight him off instead of allowing him to box. Nothing troubles a boxer like unrelenting pressure, and Joe Frazier had no equal when it came to applying it.


Frazier Would Neutralize Holmes Strengths


      There aren't many heavyweight greats Larry Holmes doesn't match up with from a style vantage point. The name heading the short list of those who would've been a problem for him is Joe Frazier. Frazier had the perfect style and mind set to be a nightmare for Holmes. Frazier's short stature, standing just over 5'11" would've worked to his advantage. In 23 title bouts between 1978-86, Holmes fought one fighter under six feet, Ossie Ocasio, who only had 13 fights at the time.

      Joe's style of coming in low would make it harder for Holmes to find him with his jab than most realize. Larry didn't like to punch down; he'd prefer tall fighters like Bonecrusher Smith or Gerry Cooney. They provided a big target without much head movement while they pursued him at a pace in which he could pick his spots and score almost at will. Forced to punch down at Frazier would've reduced Holmes accuracy. If his jab wasn't finding the target with it's normal regularity, he'd be more measured coming over with the right hand, thus reducing both punches as a weapon. Once Holmes sensed Frazier was making him miss with the jab more than it was just him being a little off with it, he wouldn't throw it with the same impunity. This translates into less resistance for Frazier to get to where he needs to be fighting Holmes, inside. Holmes never faced an opponent who was an exceptional body puncher or one that applied constant pressure. Check his record, such a fighter doesn't exist. Gerry Cooney could rip to the body, but he was too big to get under Holmes jab to get to it. Ken Norton was 34 and on the decline when he fought Holmes, yet still gave him the toughest fight of his career. He's also the only fighter who pressed Holmes with any regularity, but he was 6'3" and leaned back more than he got low. Even a prime Norton didn't bring nearly the same heat as Frazier, nor was he the puncher to the head or body.

      Joe Frazier was the best heavyweight I ever saw pressure an opponent while cutting off the ring and staying in front of him as he got closer, something that is missed by so many, and would play a huge role had they fought. The only fighter Larry met who really attempted to cut off the ring on him was Leon Spinks. If you think Holmes would've beat Frazier, maybe you'd point to his stoppage of Spinks. Even that's a slippery slope because Leon was taking it to Holmes pretty good until he got careless and rushed in recklessly wide open for Holmes right hand.

      If there was one thing Frazier could do in his sleep as a fighter, it was shut down a boxer. He never led to the head and always started to the body and worked his way up. His right to the chin wasn't anything special, but it was when he threw it to the body, and Holmes had plenty of body. Frazier was a debilitating body puncher and wouldn't need 10 rounds to wear Holmes down. The first time Joe had Larry cornered and unloaded on either side of his body with left and right hooks, it would slowly become a more frequent pattern as the fight progressed. Holmes left jab kept most of his opponents from getting to his body. How good he really took it downstairs is something no one really knows since he never really had to. Frazier would've pressured Holmes every minute of every round for 15 rounds if necessary. Larry couldn't fight him off too many rounds before he'd need to come up for air. When he stopped to try and catch a breather, Frazier would've had him right where he wanted. For Holmes to keep from having his body beat on by Frazier, he'd have to keep moving. Either way, Frazier's forcing him to expend his strength and stamina which would pay dividends for him later in the fight. Eventually, Holmes' guard would start to come down some to protect his body, leaving his chin exposed. Paving the way for Frazier to come under and over with his big left hook.

      Without the stamina to make Frazier use up half the round to track him down, Holmes would be fighting in spurts. By having to fight inside, Holmes jab and right hand would be taken out it. Leaving him no choice but to trade hooks and uppercuts trying to keep Frazier off, which is Frazier's fight. Although Holmes had a terrific right uppercut, throwing it leaves the right side of his chin open for Frazier's left hook. On top of that, with Joe right on top of him, the punch would be smothered to where he'd never get anything on it.

      It's no coincidence the closest Muhammad Ali ever came to being stopped in his career were in the 11th and 15th rounds of his first fight with Joe Frazier. In the 11th round Ali was trapped in a corner and forced to trade hooks with Frazier attempting to get out. Which left him open, and Frazier ripped him with a double left hook to the body and followed that up with one to the head, buckling his legs, having him on the verge of going down. In the 15th round with Frazier bearing down on him, Ali rushed a lead left hook followed by a right uppercut trying to keep Frazier off him. Throwing the punch left his chin completely open and Frazier came over the top with a massive left hook that dropped Ali like his legs were cut out from underneath him.

      Had they fought, Frazier would've forced Holmes to throw uppercuts and hooks like he did Ali, leaving him open for the left hook. The only way Holmes could've kept from trading with Frazier inside is, if he could do what no other fighter not named Foreman could, keep him from getting there. Like Ali, Holmes didn't have a big enough punch in his arsenal to do that. Styles make fights. If there is one fighter with the right style to beat Larry Holmes, it's Joe Frazier. Larry's left jab was one of the most effective punches we've seen in the heavyweight division. But one must understand the style mesh between these two. Frazier would've forced Holmes back faster than he wanted to go back. Making him rush his jab and right hand, throwing them more with the intent to keep Joe occupied and off of him, instead of to score or do damage. With Holmes being forced to rush his punches, his chances of stopping Frazier are slim. Frazier had a terrific chin. Only George Foreman really hurt him and stopped him. Maybe Holmes shakes him early, but he didn't have the power to stop Frazier. Frazier's body attack would drain Holmes energy and power, and it wouldn't be something he could shake. Holmes would've found out fighting Frazier just how big the difference is moving back on your own, instead of moving back because you're forced to.


The Ali Factor As It Pertains To Frazier Fighting Holmes


      Comparing the boxing/fighting style of Larry Holmes and Muhammad Ali has been done numerous times since Holmes became a ranked contender. The question here isn't who would've won between them; it's which one had more of what's needed as a fighter to beat Joe Frazier?

      Although their styles were similar, they weren't clones. Neither liked fighting inside, but when forced to, Holmes relied on his right uppercut and Ali leaned more on his left-hook. Holmes would sometimes try to fight his way out if cornered or forced to the ropes, Ali was prone to hold or flurry in spots to escape. Holmes was susceptible to being nailed with a right hand; Ali was vulnerable to a left-hook. As stated earlier, if Holmes couldn't keep Frazier from getting inside, he's just as vulnerable to Joe's left hook as Ali.

      Their left jab was their best punch. The post exile version of Ali's was faster, if only by a morsel, and he threw more. Holmes jab was harder and straighter. That said Ali's had more variation. He could change it's direction up or down after he released it, something that makes his jab more effective versus a moving target like Frazier.

      Holmes is thought to have had the harder right hand, but it's close. As to who was the better puncher, they're in the same class. Holmes may be a couple seats closer to the front of it than Ali, but it's the same class. To state it any other way is wrong.

      Both were significantly stronger than they ever get credit for being. When it comes to strength that's applicable to fighting in the ring, Ali had a slight advantage. I'm not saying he'd beat Holmes if they arm wrestled, but when it came to tying up another fighter or holding him and pushing him off, Ali was one of the best. Once he put his hands on his opponent, he made them cease what they were doing.

      It's hard to say with impunity who had the greater stamina. Both always had a third and fourth wind when they needed it. The difference being Holmes stayed in better shape than the post-exile Ali when they weren't fighting. Close, but Ali sucked it up more in 15 round fights than did Holmes, slight advantage to Ali.

      Having a dependable chin as a last line of defense is a must when taking on Joe Frazier. Holmes took a great punch. How many heavyweights get up from the right hand Earnie Shavers dropped him with in the seventh round of their title bout? If there ever was a punch that rivaled the right Shavers dropped Holmes with, it's the left-hook Frazier dropped Ali with in the 15th round of their first fight, and a more tired Ali got up from the grave before taking a count.

      The biggest difference in their ability to take a punch as I see it is Ali showed he not only could take one hellacious bomb, but he could take them in succession over the course of a round. If forced to pick who took the better punch, it's Ali. However, it might be better said between these two, "if any fighter had a more proven chin than Holmes, it was Ali."

      Ali was more versatile on his legs. He could fight on his toes circling right or left and change direction better than Holmes could. Despite this, his legs only carried him out of harms way in 10 of the 41 rounds he fought against Frazier. The bottom line here is neither could've kept Frazier off fighting on their toes.

      Holmes clearly had the better basics and was fundamentally a better boxer than Ali. He also punched to the body, Ali seldom did. Even so, Holmes body punching would've been nullified by Joe's build and style of coming in low. And if there's anything that can break down a fighter’s fundamentals, it's constant pressure.

      One of Ali's most effective punches against Frazier was the right lead. A punch Holmes threw as often as Ali went to the body. Throwing it, especially at a moving target leaves the fighter open. But Ali's quick hands allowed him to get away with it. Landing the punch bought Ali extra time and briefly disrupted Frazier's rhythm.

      In an accumulation of small advantages, I believe Muhammad Ali has a marginal advantage over Larry Holmes fighting Joe Frazier.


Why Frazier Would've Beat Holmes


      In the ring as a fighter, Frazier did everything in the book to make Holmes life as Ali said, "the closest thing to dyin." There's no hypothetical regarding whether Frazier could've handled Holmes' style, it's an open book. He showed against every mover/boxer he fought, speed and movement weren't an obstacle for him. He also showed that he could get inside a fast left jab and nullify it to a degree. I know Buster Mathis and Jimmy Ellis weren't Larry Holmes, but Ali was and as stated above, matches up better against Frazier. No fighter was tougher and knew how to fight Ali better than Frazier did. There are three fights and 41 rounds of documented boxing history as undeniable proof. It's no secret to any boxing observer that Holmes never faced a fighter with Frazier's style, let alone stamina, aggression and determination. The unanswered questions only pertain to one fighter in this one, Larry Holmes.

      When matching two all-time greats from different eras, the fairest way to do it is to match them at their best. The best Joe Frazier was the one who defeated Muhammad Ali on March 8th 1971; the best Larry Holmes beat Gerry Cooney on June 11th 1982.

      Had they fought, Holmes would've looked terrific winning the first two rounds, possibly shaking Frazier once or twice during them. He also would've expended more energy in those two rounds than any other two he ever fought. Somewhere before the end of the third round, Frazier's pressure would start getting to Holmes allowing him to get inside. By the midpoint of a 15-round fight, Holmes would be reduced to a walk, fighting in spurts. As the rounds progressed his jab will be less frequent and will have lost some sting. He'd really have to load up on the right to keep Frazier from walking through it, which would've taken a lot out of him.

      After 10 rounds Frazier would be in control, with Larry trying to survive more than fighting to win. While Holmes is fighting to last, Frazier would be on top of him like no fighter he ever fought, looking to end it with every punch. In a great fight, Holmes would've had his moments, but that wouldn't have been enough. Sometime after the 11th round, Frazier would've dropped a tired and spent Holmes who had nothing left to keep him off. Larry would've definitely got up and beat the count, but Frazier would be all over him forcing the referee to stop it before Holmes went down again.

      Joe Frazier had the perfect style to beat Larry Holmes, and he had it down pat. That's why Frazier at his best would've defeated Holmes on his best night.

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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Evan Fields
In reply to this post by Duggerman
Duggerman wrote
Joe Frazier would beat Larry down the same way he did Muhammad Ali. If it were close, they would give the fight to Frazier. Frazier was robbed in the second fight with Ali because of Ali's popularity. I don't see Holmes surviving 15 rounds of torture against Frazier, but as you said, he's less vulnerable to Frazier than Ali was. Holmes was always open for overhand rights, but Ali was always open to left hooks. Frazier didn't throw his right to the head that much during his prime. Because of this, Holmes would do a little better against Frazier than Ali, but Frazier's body punching and endless stamina would win out for him. Frazier wins by TKO late in the fight.
Good post. Larry's jab would be a non factor against a swarmer like Joe. Joe used to kick Larry's ass when they sparred. Larry said a couple times that Joe broke a rib in their sessions.
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Evolution
Frazier would struggle with Holmes, and Joe agreed with that sentiment.

I've always asked him what fight with another great heavyweight in history he would have been most loathe to take, and he always answered me, in private, with Larry Holmes, because that jab would 'hurt'.

To me, that is in fact the key. Ali beat Joe up and busted him up, but had a hard time keeping his respect with solid power connects, which is why Joe gave him so much trouble.

Holmes was more stationary, on one hand, but on the other, had more sting in all his punches. In round 8, I believe, of Ali vs. Frazier II, Ali lands a TRIPLE jab. 1,2,3 jabs, fully extended, flush, as Ali is retreating to the ropes. Joe's head snaps back, and he keeps coming. If those 3 jabs were from Holmes, Joe wouldn't have walked through them.

If Smoke can get at Holmes consistently, he has a great shot to win. But I give Larry the edge because he could, in fact, hurt at deter Joe at a distance. Joe would struggle more boxing with Larry than he did with Ali and other boxers, because Larry was a PUNISHING opponent to face at range. Not just difficult, punishing.
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

redfeng007
So Larry Holmes hit harder than Ali.
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

J.C.
In reply to this post by Maximillian
Maximillian wrote
Larry didn't really emerge on the scene until the late 70s when Joe was on the way out. Having said that, I still think Joe had enough left in the tank to beat Larry. Look at what he did to Ali in Manilla, and look at how well he fought against George Foreman in 1976..
Nooooooooooo sir. Joe Frazier was finished after Manilla. That was the last of his greatness. Larry was inexperienced but if they had fought in the late '70s its all Larry. Plus Larry sparred with Joe and would know what to expect.

So Larry Holmes hit harder than Ali.
Evidently, especially considering Ali threw most of his punches on his toes and dancing away, minimizing his own power. Larry threw the right and uppercut with his feet planted firmly. He got all the leverage and gravity in on his power shots.
Luc
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Luc
In reply to this post by Urban Legend
Holmes on points. But by a wide margin.

I'm conflicted on Holmes because I've never been a fan, but at his best I think he beats damn near everybody.
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Sivul
Luc wrote
Holmes on points. But by a wide margin.
Come on, now. Why are so many people here underrating Joe Frazier? Frazier was at his best against guys like Holmes. Holmes was great in his own right. But Joe was a beast. I'm starting to think some people here haven't seen the FOTC or The Thrilla In Manilla. Joe was one of the best ever. Of all times!
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Left Hook From Hell...
Right. Joe cracked Larry's ribs in sparring. Larry said those were the most intense sparring sessions he ever had and I believe that. Holmes' best asset was his jab and Joe would slip past it and land his hooks.
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Zorro
In reply to this post by J.C.
J.C. wrote
Maximillian wrote
Larry didn't really emerge on the scene until the late 70s when Joe was on the way out. Having said that, I still think Joe had enough left in the tank to beat Larry. Look at what he did to Ali in Manilla, and look at how well he fought against George Foreman in 1976..
Nooooooooooo sir. Joe Frazier was finished after Manilla. That was the last of his greatness. Larry was inexperienced but if they had fought in the late '70s its all Larry. Plus Larry sparred with Joe and would know what to expect.
Agreed. Joe was ready to be taken by the time Larry was becoming a ranked heavyweight.

As for the people putting Joe down around here lately, I've seen Joe and Larry both fight live in person. Sometimes you have to see it live to really gauge. Watching fights on youtube is one thing. But when you're THERE and see/hear the punches land, it's totally different. I can still hear those cracking body shots Joe Frazier kept whipping on Jerry Quarry in 1969.

Joe Frazier was the best swarming heavyweight of all time and I rate him better than Marciano because Joe fought at the pace of Henry Armstrong, a middleweight and the greatest swarmer of all time. Larry Holmes would be outfought and drowned in deep waters by Joe. That great jab of Holmes won't save him because Joe moved his head well and closed the gap and could launch his left hook from ANY position. Plus he NEVER stops coming in. Smokin' all over you. Consider all of this before you say Larry wins a "wide" decision. This wouldn't be like that pitiful Ray Mercer fight.
Luc
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Luc
In reply to this post by Urban Legend
I see Frazier and Holmes going a bit the way of Tyson and Lewis.

The issue is that in the Frazier era, heavyweights could get away with being 200lb swarmers. Frazier was great, yes, but it's not a coincidence another 200 swarmer hasn't been too succcessful since.

Such a boxer will have a hard time against more modern, bigger heavyweights. and although Holmes is a late 70s boxer himself, he broadly falls under that classification.

The disparity between a small heavyweight of the 60s and 70s and a more modern bigger heavyweight is pretty big indeed.

I sometimes imagine there's a heavweight category that's 200lb-215lb, then heavy-heavyweight for the bigger guys.

It's difficult for the former to beat the latter unless he is really special. Frazier was, so was Holmes
Luc
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Luc
In reply to this post by Urban Legend
I think that's why Tyson was such a star. He was an anomaly in that his speed and aggression could beat and terrify the bigger, modern heavyweights. A modern heavyweight champion who was only 5:11 tall, crazy.

That's why I think it's little in the way of profound insight to say "he struggled against enormous guys who were strong, technically minded and didn't fear him".

It's kind of obvious that unless Tyson was 100% on his game and training correctly, such fighters will cause issues.

Diminishing returns - I think that's only an issue when a boxer becomes successful solely based on his size. Such is the huge potential scope of the heavyweight division, I'd back a great big guy against a great small guy.
Luc
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Re: Larry Holmes V. Joe Frazier

Luc
In reply to this post by Urban Legend
Accidentally reported my own post

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