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Holmes, Nearing End, Wins Another

April 17, 1996

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) _ Larry Holmes, 46 years old and showing little mobility, neared the end of a great boxing career Tuesday night with a 10-round unanimous decision over Quinn Navarre.

The former heavyweight champion, unable to land a bout with George Foreman, intends to fight one more time before retiring.

``It is a good time to get out,″ Holmes said. ``Foreman doesn’t want to have anything to do with me. But I’ve never closed the door to a comeback.″

Holmes was the heavyweight champ from 1978-85, first winning the title at 28, the age of his latest opponent.

Holmes, 243 1/2 pounds, won by scores of 96-94, 96-94 and 97-93 at Casino Magic in one of the closest decisions in his five-year comeback.

``It was a tough fight. The kid kept coming,″ Holmes said. ``I hit him with some good shots, but I don’t train every day like these guys. It’s hard to stay focused.″

He consistently flashed the jab, rarely mixing it with other shots. But it was enough to improve to 64-5, with 41 knockouts.

Navarre, 226, an obscure fighter from nearby Metarie, La., dropped to 17-4-1 with his third straight loss.

Holmes set the tone toward the end of the first round when Navarre walked into a left and took a standing 8-count.

In the third round, Navarre rushed at an off-balance Holmes and connected with solid punches. Holmes, who has been knocked down only three times in his career, went the mat, but referee Elmo Adolph ruled it a slip.

``I’m easier to hit than my younger day,″ Holmes said. ``The best thing I’ve got going is my left hand. I haven’t lost that.″

Later in the third, Holmes used a combination of shots after backing Navarre in the corner, leading to another 8-count. Holmes then slowed the pace.

Navarre landed several solid shots, including three quick hits to the face, in the seventh round. Holmes was able to counter, and by the 10th round was waiting out the decision.

``I won the fight,″ insisted Navarre. ``You don’t get that many opportunities. I’ve worked all my life for this shot.″

In the undercard, Jesus Chong of Mexico won the NABF light flyweight title, scoring a sixth-round knockout of defending champion Eric Griffin.

Chong, 106, improved to 29-7 with his 25th knockout, which came at 1:08 in the sixth. Griffin, 107, of Jasper, Tenn., who had defended the title four times before Tuesday night, dropped to 16-3.

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