Lethal left jabs
Larry Holmes, who with one of the most lethal left jabs in the game ruled the heavyweight boxing world for seven years and fought until he was 52 (he’s 69), talked about how good life has been for a grade school dropout who grew up in a poor family living in the projects where it is so easy for a black kid to take a wicked wrong turn in life.
He dropped out of school to work in a car wash for $1 an hour and help out his family. Then, at age 19, he took up boxing at a local gym. It was a life changer.
He owes it all, he pointed out, to a boxing career, hard work ... and his wife, Diane, of 38 years, who could be described as the “secret weapon” in his success story, particularly in navigating his post-fight career.
Holmes apprenticed for five years as a sparring partner for first Joe Frazer at $350 a week, then Muhammad Ali, who upped it to $500 a week.
In 1980 Holmes battered the former champ for 10 rounds before Ali’s corner threw in the towel. It was a lopsided victory Holmes couldn’t celebrate.
“In the clinches I kept telling him to give up, that I didn’t want to hurt him too bad,” said Holmes.
Holmes made millions of dollars during his career. And, unlike so many of his peers, he