By Sean Crose
“I’m Not The Trainer, But I Know What I See.”
With the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao super fight Saturday Night, Boxing Insider had the chance to speak to someone who knows what it means to step into the ring for a major matchup.
All eyes were on Heavyweight Champion of the world Larry Holmes when he faced the popular and hard hitting Gerry Cooney back in 1982. Holmes, who emerged victorious after a grueling twelve-plus round affair that night, shared his thoughts on Mayweather, Pacquiao, and the state of boxing.
Here’s a peek inside the mind of an all time great:
BoxingInsider.com: What would you tell Floyd to do in order to beat Manny?
LARRY HOLMES: Side to side movement. Stick to the jab. Don’t get on the ropes Keep on the sides, keep him turning side to side.
BoxingInsider.com: What would you tell Manny to do to beat Floyd?
LARRY HOLMES: Pressure. And don’t just go in without a jab. Right hand to the body, left hook to the body and when he turns to the side hit him with a right hand to the side and a left up above. . .whatever he does one way, you go the other way.
Nobody ever corrected him (Floyd). He’s been doing it for a while. He always goes to the ropes and turns to the side. . .he gives you that side. I’m not the trainer (Freddie Roach) but I know what I see.
BoxingInsider.com: What do you think of all the money these guys are making for this fight?
LARRY HOLMES: It’s crazy. They were making that much money when we were boxing, but we weren’t getting that. I didn’t know, but Don King knew and Bob Arum knew. . . but we weren’t getting it.
Mayweather just opened a can of worms (by deciding to call the shots himself).This ain’t only going to be working for him, the fighters are going to demand more money (now). But prices (will) go up.
BoxingInsider.com: What do you think of Boxing now appearing on all these TV channels?
LARRY HOLMES: I think it’s good for the fighters. You know, any time a fighter’s making the money I’m for it because you never know what’ s going to happen.
BoxingInsider.com: What was your biggest fight and how would you compare it to this fight?
LARRY HOLMES: Gerry Cooney. They were going to give me ten million, but I didn’t end up with ten million after taxes and all the other bullshit they put you through.
Cooney didn’t get the recognition he deserved. He hit me. . . it hurt me. He hit me with that damned left hook to the body.
BoxingInsider.com: What are you doing now? Are you still boxing? Can you still jab?
LARRY HOLMES: I can still jab. I can still jump rope. I can still hit the heavy bag. I can still hit the speed bag. I can still fight, only now it’s just for three minutes (laughs).
BoxingInsider.com: Who are the heavyweights you like to watch today? I still like your jab better than [Wladimir] Klitchko’s.
LARRY HOLMES: They say Klitschko has this great jab. With a twenty mile an hour jab, you need to get your ass kicked.
I saw Stiverne train (for Deontay Wilder). He looked at me like I was a piece of shit. I tried to talk to him because he wasn’t drinking water. He should have listened (Stiverne ended up dehydrated in his losing effort against Wilder).
BoxingInsider.com: Other thoughts?
LARRY HOLMES: People steal your money. They say Tyson blew his money. He didn’t blow that money, he didn’t blow all of it, at least. He never got it.
Some fighters that I talk to – I won’t say their names – they have trouble speaking. What you’ve got to do is take what you can get and hold on to it. Me? I’ve downsized. I don’t need that sports car anymore. Now I can go to the bank and find one or two million there. I’ve got my kids working for me. I’ve been blessed.