Grandfather Holmes to Retire on Father's Day
ED SCHUYLER JR.
May. 20, 1996
NEW YORK (AP) _ It should be a happy Father's Day for Larry Holmes' children _ and grandchildren.
The middled-aged man, but old fighter, says he will fight for the last time June 16. He says he means it.
``I'm putting pressure on my family,'' said the former heavyweight champion, who turned 47 on Nov. 3. ``I think I'm Superman and I can't get hurt. My family looks at it differently than I do. My 16-year-old daughter (Kandy) said, `Dad, I want you to quit.' She didn't come to my last fight because she's afraid.''
Holmes has two grandchildren through an older daughter, Misty.
The former WBC and IBF champion and premier heavyweight in the world from 1978 to 1985 has been involved in a second comeback since 1991, five years after he was knocked out by Mike Tyson in a bid for the undisputed title.
The last hurrah will come against 27-year-old Anthony Willis in the 70th fight of Holmes' pro career that began in 1975. He was the WBC champion from 1978 until 1983, when he relinquished the title, and IBF champion from 1984 until he was upset by Michael Spinks in 1985 for his first loss after 48 victories.
Holmes has failed in four attempts to become a champion again. All of his five defeats against 64 wins were in title fights.
The site for the farewell fight, to be televised by CBS, apparently will be Atlantic City, N.J., but could be Bay St. Louis, Miss., on the Gulf Coast, where Holmes has fought five times since 1993.
He said in a conference call Monday that he has kept going in the hope of getting a fight with George Foreman, 47, last Jan. 10. He now realizes, however, that a Foreman fight is wishful thinking.
So, Holmes said, ``I look around and I see Jerry Quarry and I look around and see Muhammad Ali, and that doesn't go well with me. The thought that he could happen to me, doesn't go well with me.''
Quarry, a heavyweight contender in the 1970s, is suffering from a form of dementia, similar to Alzheimer's. Ali has Parkinson's syndrome.
``Something's going to give if I don't quit,'' Holmes said.
But, like most fighters, he also said, ``I never can guarantee anything.''