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Teary-Eyed Larry Holmes Gave A Fitting Tribute To Muhammad Ali In Emotional Post-Fight Interview

Teary-Eyed Larry Holmes Gave A Fitting Tribute To Muhammad Ali In Emotional Post-Fight Interview

An emotional Larry Holmes broke down in tears after he became the only man in history to have stopped the legendary Muhammad Ali inside the squared circle.

Ali made his return to boxing in 1979 after making a U-turn on his retirement and attempted to capture the WBC championship for an unprecedented fourth time.

But the 'Greatest' was struggling with health issues and was outmatched in the 1980 clash with Holmes in Las Vegas.

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Holmes dominated Ali throughout the fight and secured a TKO victory after his opponent's legendary trainer, Angelo Dundee, called for the bout to be halted in the 10th round.

When a reporter asked why the 70-year-old American was crying after his win, he responded: "You know, I really respect Ali a whole lot."

During the post-fight interview, Holmes was also asked if it hurt him to punish Ali the way that he did.

While the 'Easton Assassin' believed Ali had fought the "one of the baddest heavyweights in the world today," he continued to praise him.

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He explained: "I feel that he fought one of the baddest heavyweights in the world today, but you cannot take credit [away] from him."

Despite the heavy defeat to Holmes, Ali returned to the squared circle for the final time when he clashed with Trevor Berbick in 1981.

Berbick would defeat Ali by decision and become one of five boxers to beat the 'Greatest' in the squared circle.

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Ali would be diagnosed with Parkinson's syndrome in 1984, which came three years after he had retired again from the sport.

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His former ring doctor, Ferdie Pacheco, slammed everyone involved in the Holmes fight and said they should have "been arrested."

He explained: "All the people involved in this fight should've been arrested. This fight was an abomination, a crime."

Credit: Fight Society
Credit: Fight Society
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Holmes later admitted that it was difficult to fight Ali, especially with how close the two of them were.

He told GQ magazine in 2017: "Yes, it was really hard because he was my buddy. He was the guy that gave me a job.

"He was the guy that taught me how to fight. He helped me understand how to do things to an opponent to make them mad.

"I learned all of that from being with him all those years. Can you imagine what it was like for me, aged 20-21, to be working with The Greatest?

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"All of a sudden, you ask him if he will come to your local school and meet the kids, and he does just to make you feel good.

"He did that for me, he came to my town and he lifted me way off the ground because of that.

"He made me feel 10ft tall. The guy was great.

"He made everyone feel better about themselves. He made you believe you could do anything you ever wanted to do. And he was my friend."

Featured Image Credit: Fight Society

Topics: Boxing News, Boxing, muhammad ali, Greatest

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Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]